October 3, 2013

Teaching Our Kids, Ending Bullying and Raising a Giant

I don't know how many of us as human beings will treat the tragedy of Maxwell Webb's passingof Independence Kansas as just another sad event, when it's anything but that.

Bullying should never be ignores no matter how minor the incident may be. We as parents must teach our kids the moment they are born that bullying of any kind will not be tolerated.

Bullying does not teach another child or even adult to toughen up and just get over it. It does not teach that kids will be kids and adults are old enough to just stand up to his or her bully.

What it does teach is that words are harmless, it's not okay to be different and it's not okay to be yourself.

We as parents need to teach or children differently. We can no longer ignore what is happening to our youth. We can't just shrug it off and say, "Yes it's sad what happened, but my child wasn't involved, so it's not my problem."

Let me ask you this from both perspectives. How well do you know your child? Just because she is a great role model at home doesn't mean a thing. She could be dealing with a bully or she could even be a part of a cliche, looking down on others because she doesn't want to be singled out. Kids are on an entirely different environment at school and when they are around other kids. They are trying to fit in, so they don't become another label, an outcast for being themselves. They hide who they truly are. But unfortunately there are kids like Max who are different, can't or won't hide who they truly are, and why should they?

We as parents are the role models to our children. They are suppose to look up to us, no one else. We need to teach them that being different is ok and to not tolerate bullying of any form.

It is not ok to call someone a name, or use labeled gestures like the Duh, you're a retard one. I mean who comes up with that crap??!! And what's sad, I've seen more adults use that gesture than kids. I've seen more adults talking nicely about someone in front of them and then turn around and talk badly about them behind their backs. I've even seen adults ignore bullying at schools and worse, bully a child. This is what we are teaching our children!!! We are teaching them to hate anyone that is different and be deceitful when necessary.

If you see someone being bullied, help them. Don't tolerate it or believe someone else will step in and help. Take action, but in the kindest way of at all possible. Sometimes the reason a bully bullies is because he or she is being bullied at home or experiencing some sort of pain in their life.

We are the role models, the real teachers. It starts with us. We simply can't afford to lose another brilliant and wonderful soul like Maxwell Webb.

Take action. My son's girl Madeline, posted the wisest words I have seen in our youth. It starts with us, all of us as humans. Not groups against bullying, but all of us.

Green Giant has also stepped up to help end bullying by teaming up with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center to develop The We Will Generation, an in-school student-to-student curriculum helping students understand how they can handle bullying.

They want us to RAISE A GIANT and here are a just a few ways we can share with our kids to get started: