Choose the Power of Love and Acceptance!
As a new school year draws closer, part of me recoils in the knowledge that I will once again have to wade through the torrents of school yard gossip.
As someone who drops off and picks up purely to support my children, I find the insidious nature of schoolyard gossip totally disconcerting. When approached over the years to participate, I’ve made it known that I don’t “subscribe to gossip”….a comment that has always been met with disdain and disbelief from the biggest players in the game. And hence the gossip begins about lil ole me….”the non-conformist-weirdo with the multi-coloured hair”.
It’s interesting, but mostly downright sad that if you’re NOT a conformist, a gossip or game-player you’re labelled and isolated from peers. And it’s downright depressing that some parents choose to spend their valuable time making up stories and assumptions about fellow mothers, in front of impressionable children.
Over the years, the rude discovery of such childish behaviour in the schoolyard, has made me reflect deeply about the type of people I want in my inner circle and influencing my children.
All most of us ever really want is acceptance and a little empathy – ultimately we all experience life’s ups and downs. And although our personalities, values and dress-styles may differ, we are all on the same short-lived and sometimes challenging school years journey together.
So for 2017 I vow to continue to stand tall, as an independent, vibrant-haired, non-conformist.
I promise to carry on in my loving, compassionate and accepting way – even to those who treat me so unfairly (while my children look on). After all, who am I to judge another! I do not know anyone else’s story – I do not know their pain and suffering, their trials and tribulations, their daily challenges. I will continue to show empathy and support parents in all their diversity!
Life is short and we have one chance to make a difference in the lives of others – one chance to impart important life lessons to our children – to show them how to express compassion, kindness, empathy and acceptance. This is our chance to teach them to recognise and appreciate that people who are different are still people – in fact we might just learn something from them. Those who are different might just add a little sparkle to our life, our child’s life and teach us valuable lessons about tolerance!
Stop before the new school year commences and take stock of what matters to you, what matters to others, what touches hearts and minds, what supports and nurtures relationships. Be kind, open-minded and accepting of others, especially mums – we’re all doing the hard yards! Surely the wise choice is to offer kindness and support to each other.
And always remember – “Monkey See, Monkey Do.” Your children are watching – this is the perfect, precious time to teach them acceptance, empathy, inclusion, kindness and love.
We are all IN the circle of life. Nurture it – we are given this GIFT and all it’s diversity just once! The school years will be over before we know it – and we will have lost our opportunity to instill positive values in the leaders of the future – our children.
For tips on offering support in the school yard this year, consider these ideas:
- Offer a smile.
- Ask, don’t assume.
- Engage with genuine, caring interest.
- Encourage and support parents who appear to be struggling (e.g. offer to take them to coffee).
- Be open-minded and accepting of difference.
- Be inclusive.
- Act and interact in the way you’d like to be treated.
- Show genuine interest and kindness to children.
- Talk to children about the value in accepting diversity and offering empathy to others.
- Walk away on negativity – embrace positivity.
May 2017 be bright and harmonious and may lifelong friendships be formed!
Contributed by Mary