Thursday, August 8, 2013
New School Year
As Riley started Kindergarten last year, I had no hesitation. She is a confident and bright lady and I never gave a thought to what her days may look like.
Now that she is starting 1st grade I find myself all kinds of wound up. The expectations of responsibility will be higher. Will she know to smile kindly at the new Kinders and help them on the play ground? Does she understand how to be helpful to others? Have we talked enough about how smiling at someone can make them feel better? Will she take time away from herself and her pursuits?
While watching some TV show, a character made fun of someone who stuttered. I immediately called the character out and told the kids how mean that person was. We, again, went through the speech about how it is never okay to make fun of someone and it is never okay to make someone feel bad about themselves.
At bedtime that night Riley asked me what kinds of things may make someone feel bad. So we talked for a while and I know that she understands. But what really worries me are the parents who aren't talking about it. I have no ground to stand on when it comes to judging another parent, I know that. I just don't understand how anyone could think it is okay to let one child make another child feel bad about themselves. I don't know how teachers keep their cool when they hear a child being rude to someone. I don't remember elementary school that well, but what I do recall, is that we all pretty much liked each other. Can you imagine going to school and hating it because of the people? I can't. I know a lot of kids who hate it because of the work, and their struggles, but I just can't even wrap my head around the people aspect.
And then again, maybe the media and hype on bullying has made me ultra sensitive. Maybe our school isn't that bad. But whether it is a problem or not, I just want to make sure that my daughter knows to lift others up, not break them down, whether they are your friend or not.