Today I sent my girls off to school wearing odd socks, as a way to symbolise that it’s ok to be different, and foster understanding during Anti-bullying Week, 2018. At school during assembly and in class they talked about diversity and showing respect for others. I love that this was one campaign that didn’t demand a donation to charity, instead just prompting us to have a chat with our kids to raise awareness.
I can still remember in my first week in P1, a little girl with tight ringletty curls, cropped close to her head, asked if she could join in my game. She looked so different to any of my other pals that I was a bit spooked and said ‘No,’ before galloping off on my imaginary horse. I still feel bad about that moment, even though we went on to be friends for the rest of primary school.
Now, as parents, we have so many forums on which bullying can take place that it’s terrifying. I’m glad that my children are still small so as yet I don’t have to worry about internet sites. It used to be that a child came home from school and was ‘safe’. Now they can be in their bedrooms, receiving all manner of abuse via their phones, while their parents sit on, oblivious in the other room. I’m bricking myself just thinking about that joy which awaits…
It’s brilliant that the schools are addressing these issues so early, and encouraging us to have a conversation about it. I’ve told mine about the child in the playground I was mean to, and other occasions in life when I definitely haven’t been my best self. Sadly these occasions are many and plentiful, but at least that gives me plenty of fodder from which to choose. Life can be so frantic that our interactions with children can often be functional. ‘What do you want for dinner?’ ‘Did you eat all your lunch?’ ‘What’s your homework?’ It certainly feels like there’s been plenty of information exchanged, though very little of it was meaningful.
Today’s ‘Do One Thing’ is therefore just to have a proper chat. I actually find I talk more with my kids when we are out for a walk or in the car. Conversation seems to flow better this way.
I wore two different earrings today, though to be honest, more to see whether I could get away with it. Maybe I’ll just go back to the lovely ladies at Lines and Current and buy myself a new pair instead.