Written By: Jeremy Baumhower
After a terrible incident during a 7th grade basketball game, ‘Love One Another Day’ was born.
Our local Extreme Couponer, Joni Meyer, wanted to turn her son’s heartbreaking incident into something beautiful.
Her family and Sylvania Schools have launched today to raise awareness about the pain caused by bullying and to inspire kids to simple love.
Students across NW Ohio and SE Michigan are asked to wear red today.
It’s grandiose in nature, but the world doesn’t change on small ideas.
Bullying is one of the biggest fears parents deal with as they put their babies on buses, or send them hiking off to school. The issue is no longer being swept under the rug, as in generations before. Schools have implemented beautiful pledges and mottos that indoctrinate children with anti-bullying messages.
My youngest child’s school rewards random acts of kindness with a “Gold Card”, if spotted by a teacher or staff member. There is a monthly drawing and students’ Gold Cards selected are given a breakfast and the title of Student of the Month.
Instead of overly focusing on bad behavior, they celebrate kindness.
With all this focus on bullying, why doesn’t it seem to make a dent?
There are numerous factors:
–Social Media gives young minds the ability to hide behind a keyboard and embarrass peers in a more public fashion. It also gives parents a vehicle to vent their frustrations and heartache, further spreading the fear.
–Parents are sometimes extra sensitive to bullying and are quick to label moments as such. A child can misconstrue an incident with a classmate and the details grow and evolve as the day progresses. Children craving attention, even negative, can use the incident to fulfill a need.
–An increase in divorces and single parenting situation. This factor alone is likely the biggest cause of bullies and their victims.
What can you do as a parent?
–Lead by example; Hug more. Kiss often. Make the words “I Love You” the three most used in your house.
–“Pretty is as pretty does” : Find a cause close to your heart and take your children to volunteer with you. This will not only instill compassion but will build self-confidence. There will always be a person who has it worse than you. This could be the greatest gift for your child’s heart.
–In Split Families: No matter how ugly the relationship with other parent is… never sh*t talk about them in front of your children.
–If your child is being bullied, give them a break. Home could possibly be the only place they can relax. Do not further extend their hurt by talking about the bullying in front of them. I would even encourage you to not further victimize your baby, by giving them an excuse not to succeed. Being bullied is temporary, do not enable it’s staying power.
The most important thing you can do today if you dress your child in red– encourage them to be extra nice to the one child they believe needs it the most.
Trust me, your baby knows what classmate is in need.
Love One Another Day seems so unnecessary, but it is not. We all need reminded to love each other on occasion.