Recently I have hit a slump. I stopped writing, reading and posting. Doesn’t sound like a big deal but the months of September and October mean so much to me because they are Suicide and Bullying Awareness and Prevention months and for the past four years I have worked hard to do my part to help make a difference. I am always seeking ways to spread awareness but these months are especially important and I just haven’t done my part these past couple months. Yes, I’m feeling very guilty. What happened? Well, I started to feel very insignificant. I’m one person, how much can my words really help? If anyone reads them at all. But today I’m back. Whether or not it resonates with anyone is up to them but I can and will continue to try and help all children feel just as important as the one sitting next to yours.
Last month I came across a article about a elementary teacher who had made a rule in her classroom that she believed would spare children from feeling left out, not good enough, friendless. A very simple rule of -please do not send party invites with your child to school to hand out in class- she then stated, I will not allow you to use my classroom to show who is popular and who is not. When I read the article I thought “ good for her!” THEN I read the comments and I was so angry. There were so many adults, PARENTS calling children “ TWINKIES, weak, soft, crybabies” for having feelings. These are children!! I was appalled. So much so I bawled. Why? Because these are the parents who are teaching their children not to care how their actions affect others and I am mad!!
Read that again.. adults, PARENTS calling children “ TWINKIES”.
No, not everyone deserves a trophy.. as so many parents made the comparison, which is ridiculous. To compare a trophy for accomplishing something to an invite to a birthday party for elementary children does not make sense to me. The two have nothing to do with the other. Maybe not every child “deserves” to be invited to your child’s party but EVERY CHILD does deserve to be treated with dignity. I just can not understand the mentality of these parents. Maybe their child is lucky enough to have tons of friends, never been left out, never been called names but that is not the case for so many children. My frustration comes from the simple question of “ Why would you want to make a child feel left out?” Why? As the adult you can simply do the invites for your child outside of school as the teacher asked and your child will still have a wonderful birthday party.. but to act as if this teacher was taking something away from your child, I just don’t get it. In reality she is ensuring all her students are treated equally, as they should be. Another parent remarked “ kids need to learn that not everyone will like them and to toughen up”. While I agree with part of this statement because I had to teach my bullied child that at a very young age.. it’s ok if not everyone likes you, but I do not agree that it means a child is weak in any way or a “Twinkie” for having feelings, for being sad. In what kind of world are we living in that it’s acceptable to teach young children your weak for being sad?? I guarantee that if any of those parents commenting had a child who was left out or had dealt with being bullied their mindset would be very different. Elementary school years are the formative years where children are learning the fundamentals which includes socializing. Teach kindness, acceptance and tolerance. For God sake don’t teach your children it’s a weakness to have feelings.
To combat the ones who will say “ Why should my child have to invite your child if they don’t want to?” this is for you.. because if that’s the question you have on this topic you have completely missed the point. Your child doesn’t have to invite a child if they don’t want to. The point is.. it doesn’t belong in the classroom. If you as an adult have the opportunity to spare a child from feeling left out, I hope you take it.. I hope that you would consider “ what if that was my child?” School years are hard enough for children!
Sincerely, Angela, KennyBugs Momma!