A Mother’s Plea For Kindness

kindness3I recently received the following email from the mother of one of my karate students that I would like to share with you:

Hi Fred,
A while ago, we discussed bullying in the schools. I wrote the letter below back then, but placed it aside until I could decide what to do with it. It is time that more people stand up and speak up about the issue of bullying (although I prefer using the terms negative behaviour or mistreatment … especially among the younger children). It is happening to children at even younger ages (my younger son included) and it is something that could be changed if more people had a different perspective. Unfortunately things have not completely changed at my son’s school and negative behaviour continues. I hope it may give you inspiration to keep helping the kids, because you are an amazing role model for them, and an inspiration to the parents that listen to you. Hopefully it will reach out further.  TJ

To everyone concerned,
Our lives should be filled with more kindness and love. Our thoughts, words, and actions should come from kindness and love. People’s arms should be open with love and compassion, welcoming all who enter their lives. This is a choice every person makes, whether they are young or old. But many people choose to close their arms. To keep their kindness to themselves. Not enough children are taught the importance of being kind and loving to those around them (family, friends or strangers). They are not taught to stand up for themselves and the people around them when mistreated, or to live with love and compassion.

Bullying is everywhere (I feel a better word for it is mistreatment). It is in our schools, homes, and workplaces. It is enacted in many ways. But we could stop it by teaching our children how to act out of love and kindness. As parents we should teach them that it is our right to defend ourselves if attacked.

There should also be more programs that help boost children’s self-esteem. I believe this would stop bullying within our schools.

Too many children leave school feeling badly about themselves. Many ask why they are not normal. Why no one will play with them. Why do the other students call them inappropriate names. The hardest thing to hear is when the child asks why were they punched or pushed by someone else, while the other children laughed at them because of it. This type of behaviour needs to stop. It should simply not be acceptable. Children shouldn’t have to come home to their parents and tell them these things. Nor should a parent have to hear that their child is mistreating another child.

Schools need to have a ZERO tolerance policy on any form of mistreatment, an effective remedial program for bullies and intense supervision throughout the schools. This may cause a huge change within the school system, but it would help prevent bullying and mistreatment.

My eldest son was bullied. He was punched, kicked, pushed and only his best friend stood up for him. All the other children laughed. He was called horrible names. It took him a long time before he was able to speak up. He is only 8 yrs old. My son’s solution for ending the bullying was simple. His answer when I asked him what he wanted to do was this: “I want to just give him a hug and ask him to play.”

It was astounding to me that his answer was one of love and compassion for the bully. What if more people responded that way? What if schools, homes, and workplaces handed out compliments, kindness, compassion and love to build self-esteem because no matter how old we are, we all need it? The best place to help create a better environment, build self esteem and have love for others is at home and within schools. This is why zero tolerance towards mistreatment should be a top priority within the schools. My sons’ school is already trying very hard to do so, but it is difficult for them. More people need to speak up and to understand that in order to truly defend yourself, you need to understand where that defense is coming from…kindness and safeness, rather than anger and aggression. It is also important to understand why someone is mistreating you … it’s because they don’t feel good about themselves.

After what we have all watched on the news lately, I hope that more people want acts of love, kindness and compassion. That more schools are open to zero tolerance for mistreatment. It is so important that the bully is helped. That they are considered in this, just as much as the child being bullied. All our arms should be open wide to love, warmness and compassion to others. In doing so, we can help our world live in peace.

I teach my children every night that they have the right to defend themselves, but more importantly, I teach them how important it is to love themselves, as well as to be caring and open to others. That all people are different, so each person should be treated with kindness.

Since my son was bullied, he has become a magnet, as other children who have been mistreated are drawn to him. They are all standing up. My son took the first step by pushing the bullies hand away and telling me and his teacher. His school has been amazing at dealing with the issue and is helping the bully. More schools need to act in this manner. More children need to be shown how important it is to speak up and act out of kindness. We all need an attitude of. as my son said…”I want to give him a hug and ask him to play.”

I am proud of my son and what he has taught me by this simple sentence.

I hope that this letter helps at least one person, parent, teacher or caregiver to act in the same manner. Love, compassion and kindness towards others can help bring a peaceful world for all of us. Zero tolerance towards mistreatment and effective remedial programs to help the bullies (who are just children that want love) will help teach children at a young age to act in a more loving way.

And we should never stop boosting each other’s self-esteem, whether you make a kind comment to a stranger, saying thank you, or simply loving the people around you.

From a proud mother.
Lots of love to all who have taken a moment to read this!

During the month of December we are celebrating ‘Being Kind’ at our karate club. It is my wish that people everywhere read this letter and take action to end all forms of mistreatment. Kindness can change the world!

Have an awesomely kind day!

4 comments on “A Mother’s Plea For Kindness

  1. This letter points out two sides of the coin. Learning to stand up for ourselves AND compassion for those that showed inappropriate behaviour towards us. Both aspects are difficult to master.

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