Jackson Baer Family
I’m the father of four children, three of whom are in elementary school. There are few subjects that I care about as much as bullying. I’ve always been someone who stands up for others when they’re being picked on, and I have tried to instill in my children the following principles:
• Be a friend to everyone because you never know what others might be going through.
• Accept people who are different because you are different, too.
• Don’t judge anyone based on race, religion, or sexuality. People are who they are, and if any of those things bother you, that’s your issue—not theirs.
• Be kind, and treat other people like you want to be treated.
Often, a bully acts out in response to a tough home life or other difficult circumstances, reducing emotional pressure by heaping abuse on a victim. If you stand by and do nothing to intervene, you send the bully the message that this kind of behavior is acceptable. The victim, meanwhile, might feel the whole world is against him. That’s why standing up for those in need is one of the greatest virtues. I have tremendous respect for my kids when they tell me about how they stood up for a classmate. Over the past year, there have been a handful of incidents where my kids have told a bully to stop picking on another kid, or where they’ve had to ignore bullies to avoid becoming targets themselves.
We have to pick our battles in life, and not everything is worth fighting over. Standing up for and befriending those who are vulnerable, however, is worth pursuing, and is a message worthy of sharing with our kids.
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” ~ Mark Twain
Jackson Baer’s Links
If we all lived in this frame of mind, the world would be a nicer place.