I hated school. Everyone says if they could go back, then they would. But there’s not enough money in the world that would get me back in that place. I’m naive enough to hope that it’s changed, when really I know it hasn’t. Kids are cruel. I wasn’t bullied at school, but there where several other kids that made me not want to wake up in the morning and make my way to class. Now I have a child – the thought of Daisy ever feeling like that makes my stomach drop. No child should be made to feel unwelcome in a place they are meant to belong. No child should be made to feel insecure, anxious, worried, upset. No child should feel as though they can’t talk. No parent wants their child to go through that.
When our parents bought us up, they didn’t have the privilege of social media. We’re the first era to have this platform and we need to use it to our advantage. The power of social media is incredible. There are so many anti-bullying campaigns but there’s a flaw. Somewhere there is a broken link in the chain and it’s just not working. Because children are still hurting. children are still being bullied – and children are still taking their own lives. I don’t know about you – but I hurt at the idea of the world I’m about to bring my child into. School is scary. But it shouldn’t be. It should be an exciting time for both a parent and child. But it’s a time that’s over riddled with anxiety instead. I don’t think I wrap Daisy in cotton wool but, just like any other parent, I’m protective. If another child pushes her down at soft play and she looks scared – of course I get a bit annoyed. If Daisy pushes over a child or hits/kicks then I will make her aware that what she’s done is really hurtful. She’ll apologise and move on.
We need to show our children that being kind is the new cool. It’s not cool to talk about another girl behind her back and make her feel left out. It’s not cool to call someone names, to make them feel unwelcome. It’s just not cool. I want to bring my child up so that she sits with the child that looks a little sad at lunch time. Or comforts the girl who the popular kids are laughing at. It is cool to be kind and we need to bring our children up with this outlook. I would hate for my child to ever feel so hurt that she doesn’t want to go to school. I’d equally feel just as sad if she was the bully. That’s why so much of my effort in parenting goes to teaching her to be kind. To love and to care for others and not to talk about people behind their back – there’s so much more to life than what colour hair a boy has or what another girl is wearing. A lot of the time words are worse than actions – nasty comments will stick. They’ll bring a person down. Instead, I’m teaching Daisy to be the one that lifts other people up.