Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Conversation to Have with Your Children Daily Before School

When my daughter started kindergarten a few years ago, I made it a point to have a conversation with her, sometimes daily, but a few times a week at minimum.  Now, they are both in school and the conversations continue. The conversation goes something like this:

When you are at school today, it is important to be nice to everyone.  Even children you might not like.  Be nice, smile and say hello.  If someone looks lonely or sad, talk to them.  At lunch, make sure no one is sitting by themselves.  Invite them to join you.  On the playground, before you start playing with friends, make sure that there is no one sitting off by themselves.  If they are, invite them to join in.  If they don't want to, see if there is something they might want to play.  It is important to always include children in your play.  How would you like it if no one invited you to play?  It would feel pretty lonely, wouldn't it.  When choosing teams at school, if there is/are a child/children who always get picked last, make sure you don't choose them last.  Choose them first.

I then talk about teasing or talking badly about other children.  I tell them it is important that they don't tease or talk badly about children and that they can stand up to people who are.  I explain that if they laugh when someone calls another child names, it is as if they are the ones calling names.

We then talk about bullies.  Of course, they know the stereotypical portrayal bully.  The mean kid who fights, steals lunch money, and so forth.  But a bully really encompasses so much more.  A bully is also the child who joins in with others who are teasing a child.

So, the other night, I was tickled to read this post and just had to share it with you.  I love it and you can be sure I am going to read this to my children.  Please check it out here:

Maybe if James Holmes (Colorado shooter) felt included in his childhood, the shooting wouldn't have taken place.  Maybe if the young man abused till age 12 had been included in school during his childhood, he wouldn't have killed my friend Chris.  We never know how including people may change the world, but we certainly can see how excluding them does.  Remember, hurt people hurt.

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