With school right around the corner, bullying has been on my mind. My little kindergartener is pretty outgoing and social, so I am really not worried about her. She is a kind and loving person and while programs and bulletin boards are great, I really believe that the true solution is in the hands of our children. While reading another parenting blog, I came across a letter that a mom wrote for her third grader.
Each year she shares with him a story about a kid who was always made fun of in school and how he can be brave and reach out to kids like that. It brought me to tears as I thought about my own classmates and my little girls' future classmates. The author offered her letter to any parent who wanted to use it, but since parts of the letter didn't fit our family, I decided to write my own. Please feel free to use it in your home or consider writing one yourself. It doesn't matter what words you use as long as you speak from the heart. They will listen.
I can't believe you start kindergarten tomorrow (grade). It seems like just yesterday we brought you home from the hospital. You know whats crazy? Back then I had no idea how to be a mommy. I knew I loved you more than anything else in the world, I knew that I would always protect you, I knew that you were going to grow into an amazing and unique person and that I was lucky to get to watch you grow. What I didn't know was how I was going to protect you, how I would make sure you always knew I loved you, or how I would help you grow up.
That is the hard thing about life. Sometimes we don't know what to do when we are faced with tough things. Do you know what I did though? I trusted my heart. I knew that God believed in me, that I had what it took to be the best mommy for you. When you cried and cried and cried, ha, you sure had a set of lungs on you, I listened to my heart and sat up all night holding you because it made you feel better. No one told me to do that, actually some people even told me not to hold you all night, but I knew deep down inside me that it was what you needed. It is the same as knowing you love someone, mommy, daddy, sister or grandma, its hard to explain but you just know you love them. Right?
When you are at school there will be hard things you have to deal with. I remember there was a girl in my class when I was your age. Her name was Mandy and she was a little different. Her clothes were funny and she didn't talk like everyone else. Mandy never had her hair brushed and her clothes didn't smell very good. She never did her homework and she always got in trouble, often on purpose. The other kids made fun of Mandy and although she never cried, she never smiled either. She just looked so sad all the time. I never made fun of Mandy but I always walked away because it made me so sad to see and because I was afraid to stand up to the other kids. They made fun of her, so I was afraid they would make fun of me too. When I think about Mandy now, I wish I had listened to my heart. Instead of walking away I could have asked Mandy to be my friend, invited her to sit by me at lunch one day, or played with her at recess. I bet she would have smiled the biggest smile ever. When you are at school, remember Mandy, and remember to listen to your heart. It will tell you what to do.
In school you will have so many chances to be the best, the best speller, best counter, best climber, but what is most important is that you be the best you. Don't let other kids make you wish you were different. You are an amazing person and we love you exactly as you are! God knew mommy and daddy would have you, knew that you would get exactly the DNA that you did and that it would make you, you. As you grow up you will meet new people and learn new things. No matter how tough some situations might seem, I promise if you listen to your heart, you will always know what is right.
Your a great kid and I know you are going to have a great day tomorrow!