We are living at a time of a lot of uncertainty and while some communities fear what’s to come, others are already experiencing a surge in violence, hateful expressions, and bullying. That’s why I’m more committed than ever to raising children of peace that practice respect, kindness and compassion. We need to teach kids an appreciation for multiculturalism and diversity that empowers them to succeed in our society.As parents, it is hard to deal with instances of bullying. I remember when my daughter was in kindergarten, at just 5 years old, she got in the car sad, crying and worried. When I asked her what was wrong, she told me her friend said she will not be her friend anymore. The little girl had told my daughter not to be friends with other kids in the class, and when she saw her talking to another girl, said she will not be her friend anymore.
I was shocked to see that this could happen at this early age; although I know this was a small incident and it was easy to talk to my daughter about friendship and how a person who doesn’t want you to be friends with others isn’t really your friend, this is a clear example of how crucial is to commit to raising children of peace that are respectful and kind. Children, especially in the school environment, their peers are very important and their interactions have a real impact.
For another family in my area, things were much more serious, like two months ago their 7-year-old son who is in first grade, got off the bus bruised after he was attacked by classmates for being a Muslim. The classmates were trying to force him to eat food that wasn’t halal and when he refused, they punched and kicked him. Unfortunately, this type of violence and bullying within the school environment has increased, and American Latino and Muslim kids have been main targets.
It is estimated that every 7 minutes a child is bullied in the United States. In most cases, this happens without anyone stepping up to help as only 4 percent of adults and 11 percent of children will intervene to help the affected kid. That means that most of us will do nothing. We have a duty to change that statistic and continue our efforts in raising children of peace that practice kindness and compassion, but that also are empowered to have the right response to bullying.
Free Resource On Facing Bullying
That Helps In Raising Children of Peace
The National Education Association estimates that more than 160,000 children miss school every day in the United States due to fear and anxiety caused by bullying. According to them, the children that are more susceptible to aggression are either obese, gay or disabled. However, we are also seeing a surge in bullying that is related to being a minority, and American Latino kids are one of the main targets.
That’s why raising children of peace is so important, and why we should all strive to model peaceful behavior, practice kindness, compassion and respect of others. We know that kids learn much more from our actions than from the things we tell them.
As a concerned Latina mom, I was happy to learn about a new resource created by Monica Olivera from Mommy Maestra who is not only an educator but also an influencer committed to diversity and multiculturalism. Since she usually shares educational resources on her site, many parents reached out to her with concerns about the future in this new troubling time in our nation.
After having conversations and trying to reassure parents that kids will be okay, she realized that it wasn’t enough. Many parents don’t know how to help their kids when bullying happens, and concerns about safety and lack of knowledge about what to do, often cause children to miss school and has other negative effects in the life of children who are the victims of bullying.
Monica took action and created a packet for parents and educators called ‘We are all created equal’ to use in the classroom and at home focusing on the topic of bullying. It provides children with strategies on what to do if they are being bullied or if they are witness to someone else being bullied; as well as providing advice to the parents whose children are victims.
The packet includes posters you can place in classrooms, cafeterias, offices, and even at home with messages on the topic. There is also an educator’s guide, questions and answers guide, resources for parents, phrases parents can use when addressing the issue of bullying with school officials, plans for students on how to deal with a bully, writing prompts and pages, and a list of recommended books that are helpful.
Please download the packet, use it, share it with your school community, friends and family who have school-age children. Let’s help raise a culture of peace, let’s do our part to end bullying and violence.
How do you teach your children respect and kindness?