“Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry.”—Lyman Abbott
Many years later as I reflect on this experience, I have come to realize that staying silent and internalizing my feelings was an incredibly unhealthy and ineffective way of dealing with what I now know was a bully. I decided back then at age five I deserved to be pushed around by others. As the years went by, I continued to negate my own feelings at the expense of keeping the peace. By allowing what I was taught as a young child, pushing down my emotions and not owning my strength, created a lifelong pattern of behavior that shaped my personality, leaving me vulnerable to strong and overpowering people.
Making such a decision can be life-impacting in a powerful way, shaping how a five-year old might view him or herself in the world, either enhancing their self-worth or negating it. Although it took decades to come to the realization that being ladylike and speaking up for myself are not mutually exclusive, I recognized I had a lot of personal growth work to do.
After years of mindfulness training, spiritual retreats, resourceful reading and talking to knowledgeable professionals, I have made tremendous progress. Coming from a place of strength and clarity, I have learned to recover my dignity.
The following articles shed light on how adults can help children learn how to identify and deal appropriately and effectively with bullies.
Mean kids aren’t just a middle-school problem. The trouble has trickled to the youngest grades. Learn how to spot it — and how to protect your child.
With school bullying consistently in the media spotlight, most parents are aware that it’s a serious problem. That’s encouraging — but we’re forgetting about our youngest and most vulnerable age group, the toddler and preschool crowd.
Girls as young as kindergarten are facing significant social challenges without the resources, without the tools and most importantly, without the support to best manage them.
Fostering discussions and careful consideration of the values involved in making and maintaining healthy friendships is one of the most important things adults can do to help girls choose friendships wisely.
How can parents and teachers support children who feel someone is being mean to them? In this kindergarten class, they have a three-step process to deal with conflicts. It can be adapted for use at home or in a small group.
Lorrie Jones, MBSR CHT BSN and founder of Simple Serenity, provides education, consultation, and coaching—integrating the most effective principles and practices of Mindfulness and Hakomi therapies—encompassing a “mind-body” approach to health and wellness. Author of three guidebooks: 21 Days of Living Mindfully: Your Guide to Conscious Living, 21 Days of Parenting Mindfully: Your Guide to Raising a Mindful Child , 21 Days of Eating Mindfully: Your Guide to a Healthy Relationship With Yourself and Food (3rdEd) plus the 21 Days Guidebook Companion Journal (blank journal to complement the guidebooks). To learn more, visit: www.simpleserenity.com