Take a stand against bullying with the Shaw Kindness Sticks Grant program + Tips on how to deal with bullying as a parent

As a mom of a 3-year-old little boy and stepmom of two teenagers, bullying is definitely on my mind - how to talk about it, how to deal with it, how to protect them from it, and how to make sure they’re not participating in it. 

This year, Shaw launched a campaign to help children take a stand and make a difference in their school. The Shaw Kindness Sticks Grant program is an opportunity for children to come up with an idea to make kindness stick in their school and receive up to $5,000 to make it happen when they apply before April 30th. So, start the discussion at the dinner table tonight, talk about what you can do, what they can do, and what we can do as a society to make kindness stick.

LEAD BY EXAMPLE - this is the most important rule, really. If you don’t want your children to have a negative impact on society, make sure you have the right attitude at home. Don’t gossip, don’t judge, don’t make fun of people. And if you can’t help it, make sure to do it behind closed doors when the kids are asleep.

COMMUNICATE - talk. Making sure your children can talk to you is essential, so make sure to communicate with them. When they grow up, children can be a little more closed off, so don’t be overbearing - just make sure they know they can talk to you if they need. And if/when they do, LISTEN. Actually listen when they tell you how their day went. Watch out for alarming incidents, give them coping advice, make sure they are equipped to deal with school drama. You can rationalize things and give advice, but make sure you don’t belittle them or what they tell you or they could shut themselves down. Some things may seem ridiculous to us grownups, but friendships, fallouts and school socializing in general is your kid’s whole life at the moment, so it is most definitely not ridiculous to them.


MAKE SURE THEY ARE NOT ALONE - while some children prefer being on their own, having a buddy at school makes them less of a target for bullies. Let them have their alone time at home, where they are safe. Make sure your child also has at least one adult they trust at school, in case they need to talk, or report an incident.


MONITOR - the Internet is one of the number one places where bullying happens, so being vigilant about what your child puts online is important. Set some rules (our children can’t have a Facebook account until they are 13, and they have to add us as friends so we can make sure they don’t post anything inappropriate). When/if they do post something inappropriate, have a conversation about it. Try not to make it a fight. Come prepared (you can use real life examples that are easily available in the news, etc.). It’s impossible to monitor everything - and it’s important for children to have privacy - but it’s also important for them to know that whatever’s public or semi-public has to be appropriate, whether they posted it themselves or it was posted by someone else.

BE KIND - in order to make sure your child is not the bully, encourage kindness whenever possible. One simple life lesson is to treat others the way you want to be treated. It’s never too early to start having that conversation, either. Try to give them simple mantras of good values: sharing is caring, hitting is bad, etc.


TAKE A STAND - encourage your children to help others. That means reporting incidents they may have witnessed, or talking to a friend in need of support. You can also encourage your child to participate in the Shaw Kindness Sticks Grant program to help fund their idea to promote inclusivity and spread kindness at their own school.

For more information on the Shaw Kindness Sticks Grant program, click here.

This post was sponsored by Shaw. Thank you for supporting my sponsors and me.


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