Mean behavior starts early. We need to be proactive and start early to stay on top of insensitive actions and reactions exhibited by children. Role modeling is the most effective teaching of all. Scary how we have to stay on top of our own behavior, but it is the greatest teacher of all. Children have radar, and how we say what we say, how we act, our tone, our own actions and reactions…even our thoughts…are absorbed by children like sponges.
Simultaneously, we need to stay on top of a child’s exchange with themselves or with others. We need to encourage positive self-esteem. As my song, “The No More Bullying Rap” says…“the nicer you are to yourself, the less you’ll pick on somebody else.” At the same time, encourage children to realize that everyone has feelings. Encourage them to realize that their words, thoughts and actions have a positive or negative impact on others.
It takes constant vigilance to encourage intrapersonal and interpersonal respect, but it is the key to being the changes we want in the world, (Gandhi)… because peace is not about the world out there somewhere…it is about you and me, and every word, action, thought and feeling helps to create a respectful and respected life for everyone.
Cheryl Melody www.cherylmelody.com B.M.Ed., M.A. 30 years of experience as teacher, performer, composer, writer, playwright, Parents Choice Winner, 2010 Kidlutions Preferred Product Winner