As parents, it's easy to forget that our children often do as we do and not as we say. For this reason, Katarina Magnus, director of the Grålums Kindergarten Parents Association in Sarpsborg, Norway, decided to write a letter to parents. "I see so many parents fail to notice the effect of their own actions. They fling one comment after another, with a sigh and moan, and they have opinions about everything and everyone. They hurl one subtle condemnation after another of people who are different from them. And I want to get away from that," Katarina Magnus told Norwegian TV2. Her letter has made a huge impact. After she sent the letter home to the parents, she posted it on Facebook, where at the time of this writing, it's received more than 3,000 likes and 2,000 shares. "I'm grateful for all of the feedback. And it's good for people to feel provoked - that way we know that we've planted a seed. I'm sure this can help the world become a little friendlier," she said. Read Katarina's letter below and please share it if you agree!
Here’s what Katarina wrote in her letter to the parents:
Dear parents of Grålum’s kindergarten students:
In light of the strong focus on bullying in media and society in recent times, the association has decided to issue this general call to parents on how they can help at home, around our own kitchen tables. At Grålum’s Preschool, bullying is not a known problem, but we could all use a reminder on how our attitudes have a strong effect on our young ones. Read on!
You teach your child to bully!
Yes, you read that right. You have to admit it.
And it’s because you:
* Sit around the dinner table and complain about a friend’s choices/non-choices
* Sit in front of the TV and criticize a participant or a character’s behavior
* Surf on your phone/tablet and make negative comments about someone’s appearance
* Read the newspaper and ridicule anyone with a different opinion
* Drive your car and get annoyed at another driver in traffic
* Roll your eyes at someone who does things differently than you
* Say anything derogatory about someone with a different faith/race/vision than yours
* Cut down another family’s finances, last purchase, or holiday choices
* Clearly show with your entire body that you dislike someone
Your words, body language, and facial expressions all teach your child that it’s okay to say negative things about others. Yes, you not only teach your child that it’s okay, you also show them that they should be intolerant. We are role models, and our children don’t know anything other than what we show them.
This is a strong call from us and we urge all parents to conduct a thorough self-examination of their own actions and consider how it affects their little ones.
Bullying starts—and ends—with us. And we all need to become more tolerant, inclusive, flexible, and generous to each other, so that our children will also be these things.
So we have a job to do. Are you ready for a change? We are. We are ready to help each other rather than hurt each other.
I’m sorry if anyone feels provoked by this, but sometimes we need a wake-up call before change can take effect. Let’s hope that this can affect us in the right direction! :)
Have a nice day! :)
You can see Katarina Magnus’ original Facebook post (in Norwegian) and her letter here.
Please share to spread Katarina’s important message to all parents.
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