There’s a lot of talk about “bullying” in the media lately. It’s disturbing to think that our little ones at home will grow up and could be a victim of bullying or even, *gulp* be a bully to another. And yet, if you have more than one child, I’m sure you’ve experienced some version of sibling rivalry that resembles a version of bullying. This version is totally normal and a part of growing up and discovering self and yet, it requires some direction. I remember some of those situations where I observed this type of behavior and I was so bothered by it that I didn’t quite know how to respond. I felt like it needed more than just a “no, that’s not nice!” and yet at ages five and two, explaining the concept of bullying isn’t quite appropriate.
I love to lean on women in my life that have walked these roads before me. I know they love me and I know they can appreciate my struggles and my intentions and are eager to encourage and share any lessons learned on their journey. It was just such a friend who shared with me how she, too, had experienced this with her children and how she had dealt with it. She said, it’s important that our children learn from an early age that our home will always be a safe place. A place where you can be yourself, share your feelings and know that all will be respected. As a family, we always need to be solving our disagreements with kind words. We can’t always control what happens outside of our home, but in our home, we all need to all do our part to make it a safe place.
Children understand safety. When this kind of respect and emotional safety is taught and practiced in our homes, they will take this value into their little worlds outside of our homes. We won’t get it right 100% of the time, but we get better at what we practice!