The best way to stop childhood bullying is for adults to model kindness and act with empathy in our hearts.
Our children are watching. They are watching adults call each other names, they are reading vitriolic social media posts, and they are hearing hate in our voices. Our children are watching.
Turn on the news, open a blog, or read the paper. Listen to adults at the supermarket. Sit at a soccer game and listen to the parents. Many adults have no tolerance of differing opinions – they attack the individual who holds a different position. Our children are watching.
We are a society that was built on basic freedoms; our founding fathers debated, compromised, and built consensus. Healthy debate and civil discourse is in our DNA. We must respect the right that others may hold other opinions and beliefs without attacking the individual. We are required to model kindness, compassion, and understanding. It is our obligation to seek to understand the opinions of others, to challenge with kindness and skill, and to model for the next generation the empathetic, compassionate behavior.
Our children are watching.