When Mom and Dad are unified with the teachers and administration at school, the teachers at school are unified with extracurricular activities within the community and all are in agreement with what is morally, educationally and socially right, the world is full of sunshine! Your child has it made!
If parents show respect for each other and in turn to their children, their children learn to esteem themselves and others. When parents and teachers preach the same rhetoric, each gives credence to the other and your child is bound to get the importance of education. When dance schools, sports academies, scouting organizations, etc. work around school and religious schedules, your child is valued for all that he or she is. There are no disconnects. Your child feels extremely important and valued in the world. This is Person A.
Imagine the child who has only parts of this picture intact or none at all. Parents who do not respect each other display disrespectful behaviors in front of their children, who in turn learn that these behaviors are OK and suffer in outside social encounters. When parents and teachers are not a united front, education is not a priority. It is just something to get through because it is the law. Academic potential goes down the tubes. Educational, social, and religious identities are confused when extracurricular activities make schedules that take that child out of school or religious services regularly. This child feels incompletely valued. This is Person B.
Enter the bully. He definitely has no sense of value and needs to pick on people he can feel bigger than. Which person is he going to pick on: Person A or Person B?
Person A is a wall of confidence. He feels loved unconditionally, he feels safe, does well in school, gets along with most everyone, has fun in extracurricular activities, is gracious when making mistakes and holds a strong moral identity.
Person B has many holes in his wall. He can be downed because of his poor social skills and his lack of achievement in school. He may not have learned to be a good sport in extracurricular activities and religion may or may not be a priority.
This is a plea to turn our children into Person A’s. Teach your children manners, teach them that bad words spoken to them should be thrown in the garbage like all dirty things, encourage their academic achievements (not just at report card time), comment on specific things they did well in their activity of choice, attend parent conferences and school events, and model your practice of religion if you follow one or model the code of ethics you wish to establish in your home. Let your children know in many ways, and often, how important they are to you. Just be there. This creates an arsenal of material with which your children can defend themselves. If we make more Person A’s, there will be less Person B’s. The math is easy! Let’s go!