I’ve debated sharing this as I’ve managed to do a pretty good job of staying out of the political controversy online during this election, but I felt that this needed to be shared.
Neither my husband nor I voted for *Candidate A or *Candidate B (not that it should matter who we voted for). We were just as surprised and shocked as everyone else by Tuesday’s outcome. I have never supported either of the main candidates this election, and although I can’t say that I am thrilled with the results, I have enough respect for the office and the voting process (and the fact that America has survived 43 Presidencies before this) to accept that our next president, as I would have if anyone else had won. I have always tried to be open with my oldest about the political process, about the feelings and positions from both sides, and educate him as much as possible within his 60-second attention span.
On Wednesday, when I dropped my son off at school, I told him that there would probably be some talk of the election at school. I advised him to be respectful of other people’s opinions, as I always do.
Sometime during recess, classmates discussed who they “voted for” and while everyone else said they voted for Candidate A, James said he “voted for” Candidate B. No on brought up the fact that 7 year old’s can’t vote!
Then he was pushed, tripped, and told he was stupid.
When he first told me about the incident, my initial thought was, “why would you say you voted for Candidate B? Now everyone will think WE voted for that candidate!” I couldn’t help but wish that he hadn’t said it at all. But, this isn’t our first experience with bullying. I contacted his teacher, who resolved to get to the bottom of it.
But then, Mama Bear showed up. It shouldn’t matter! Even if we had voted for Candidate B! He has a right to his own opinion, just like we all have the right to ours. I’ve never tried to stifle his opinions or views, and this was a manifestation of that. That being said, the other kids have the right to disagree with his opinion. That is what makes our country great. But no one has the right to bully anyone. EVER.
As parents, we need to put an end to bullying.
We need to teach our children:
- How to lose with grace.
- Win without rubbing it in other people’s faces.
- How to cope with disappointment in life without feeling the need to lash out and physically harm others.
- Have more respect and less disdain for people we might disagree with.
- How disagree, but still be friends at the end of the day.
We need to think of the things that we say in passing or out of frustration. They are watching us, listening to us, and learning from the example that we set. To parents everywhere: please have the courage to be kind! The next generation will greatly benefit from your example!
Have you or your kids ever experienced bullying?
*names of candidates have been changed to protect the innocent.