Unkindness is striking our kids at alarming rates. Stop it before it spreads to your family, school, or community.
• A nationwide survey found that 43 percent of students said they were afraid to go to the school bathroom for fear of being harassed.
• By some estimates, one in seven American schoolchildren is either a bully or a victim. In some cases, the same child is a bully one day and a victim the next.
• The National Education Association reports that every day, 160,000 children skip school because they fear being attacked or intimidated by other students.
sure your kid hears this message loud and clear: "Cruelty is wrong, it's hurtful, and it will not be tolerated!" Here are some examples:
"Calling your cousin 'Four Eyes' was cruel. Name-calling is not nice because it puts someone down.That's something I just can't allow." "Telling your sister fat jokes and calling her 'Fatty' is mean. You're laughing at her, not with her.You may not tease if it hurts the person's feelings." "Sending your friend that nasty instant message on your laptop was really cruel.And that gossip about Nancy was certainly not true."
Many families create a family covenant that clearly spells out in writing that unkind words and gestures are not permissible in your family. If you'd like to create one for your home, gather everyone around a large piece of paper and emphasize your expectations of saying and doing only caring and supportive behaviors.Ask for suggestions for rules to ensure your family adheres to a strict caring policy, and then vote for the best guide-lines.The winning policy is written on a separate piece of paper, signed by all family members, and posted as a concrete reminder.
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Although nobody gets a parenting manual or bible in the delivery room, it is our duty as parents to try to make our kids as well rounded, happy and confident as possible. It is a lot easier to bring up great kids than it is to try and fix problems caused by bad parenting, when our kids have become adults. Our children are all individuals - they are not our property but people in their own right.