One of the things I love about Facebook is the ‘On This Day’ feature, and one of the things that popped up the other day was an extremely long status I had posted on the topic of bullying.

Given the importance of this issue, I have decided to share this piece on here:

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Today is Pink Shirt Day and with my daughters permission I am sharing (and perhaps slightly ranting) with you why today is so important.

We had to make a decision to pack up and move three hours away from our last home. A nerve wracking decision at any age, but when you are a 12 year old girl moving to a new town, leaving friends and comfort behind. That can take it’s toll.

The first day of school was so hard. She was in hysterics. The new principal has been a God-Send to us and has been there for my daughter since day one. She checks in on her and has given her a free pass to always seek her out. She even took the time recently to phone me and discuss things to help us work towards solutions…..

You see, my daughter is a fun loving, beautiful, smart- somewhat quiet girl living in her new town/school and feels absolutely isolated.
Sure- some kids are nice, she’s tried making friends and occasionally (with our blessing) has gone to some dances, attended a sleep over and even hosted one.
Unfortunately, from what I hear from both my daughter and the principal, this year has been a trying year and a very divided year for the girls this age.

Everyone here grew up together
Everyone here runs in cliques.
This clique doesn’t get along with that clique and major division is going on.

To the new girl, she’s not sure what to do or where to fit in. One day girls are her friends and the next they’re not talking to her….Or they have some ridiculous beef with her….Or they’re nice to her….but they aren’t exactly inviting her to hang out etc…
These kids don’t know her well yet, so I guess (in their eyes) she’s easy to write off.

Twice this year in two separate incidents by two separate students, it has loudly been announced in class “Geez N, it’s no wonder nobody here likes you”

Why was that said to her by her mean girl bully? The same girl who’s been trying to embarrass and bother her from day one? This bully didn’t like that my daughter got a BINGO during a class game.
My kid ends up with a “BINGO” and this girl thinks it is a reason to embarrass her in class and shout out that it’s no wonder people don’t like her. Really? She won a game thus you act like a sore loser? Tisk Tisk.

Can you imagine being told by two different students on two separate occasions that you aren’t liked by anyone at your new school???

It was said In.Front.Of.The.Class!!!!

Are you, dear reader, empathetic enough that you can imagine how much that hurts? How embarrassing that is?? How damaging those words are to someone? Let alone a lonely 12 year old girl?

I am telling you these bits and pieces of our story because my daughter doesn’t want other kids to go through this, especially if they are new.

I once said to her “I pray that a new girl comes to class and you two can be friends and be ‘new’ together”
N was horrified “Mom! Don’t say that! I never want anyone to ever to feel how I feel!”

I am telling you this because I urge to you to not just dress your kids in pink shirts today.
I am asking you, parent to parent to please, PLEASE sit down and talk with your kids about right and wrong.

**About why we do not bully kids.

**What words hurt.

**What they can do if they witness it. Even if it is THEIR friend doing the bulling. How about they take a stand against that mean friend and unite with the victim to show they know right from wrong!

**Think about punishments and strategy about what to do if that IS your kid doing the bulling.

**If it’s your child hurting, please find them help. This is that situation where you DO need to be their friend as well as their parent. Do not shrug this type of shit off and let them shoulder it alone as a right of passage.

**Be an example to your kids, to your friends kids, to the neighbor kids.

I know they are going to be talking about this all day at school but this needs to be a constant conversation in the home too!

KINDNESS STARTS AT HOME.

I can’t go to school and yell at these kids. (Oh LORD do I want to)

I can’t go to the school and force these friendships.

I can only work with my daughter, spend time with her and find her the help she needs to keep her spirits up and build her confidence back up.

I can only pray for continued strength in my daughter and for myself as we deal with this.

Please encourage your children and teach them how to be nice to others – especially the new kid.

This isn’t just a job for the schools to handle. This is our responsibility as well.

I know that in the end my daughter WILL be okay.

She has me.

This is message is dedicated not just to my daughter but to those of all ages who don’t have anyone defending them. I got your back.

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Authors Note: I am happy to report that toward the end of the last year and this year, my daughter has made friends and has adjusted well to the move. We haven’t had any major problems this year. 

Pink Shirt Day is also known as ‘Anti Bullying Day’ is a movement here in Canada. Learn more about it by clicking here: 

You can read more about our move across the province by clicking here: 

 

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