We all have insecurities and for me they started early. I used to get called pig nose, elephant ears, buck wheat. Kids would ask me why my hair didn’t move, or why my lips were so big. And don’t even get me started on my two front teeth. You name it, I got called it. Bullying sucks. Nobody wants their insecurities to be put on blast or for others to make you feel inadequate. Fortunately, I had a mother who told me I was smart. That I was beautiful. That I could do and be anything and that if anyone ever hurt me, I should defend myself and tell her so that she could defend me too. Ohhhhhh, and defend me she did. But that was then.
Bullying that was once confined to the school bus, playground or classroom is now cyberbullying and exists in a new space of colossal proportions. Back then I could handle a bully here and there but I can’t imagine being ridiculed on the internet.
64% of teens consider bullying a normal part of life. That’s a scary thought. But to be realistic, bullying is going to happen. It happened with me and I’m sure Kensington will come home crying one day too.
I will do for her what my mother did for me, but because times have changed I have to do more. I have to teach her that people that bully are unhappy and hurt people to make themselves feel better. I have to teach her that if she sees someone getting bullied (online or otherwise) she should support them and let them know that they are loved, to tell me or someone in charge, so that we can put an end to it too.
But most importantly, I will tell her to love herself and love other people for who they are. Just as they are. That being different is good. Being different is POWERFUL.
I posted this picture of me as a child to show how happy I was back then. I was different but despite what people said or did. I knew I was loved. I knew I was special. This is how our kids should be. Happy. Loved. Special. Let’s #RiseAbove cyberbullying by empowering our youth to act when witnessing or experiencing it and please visit TELUS.com/RiseAbove to find resources to help empower youth and to help ensure that nobody suffers in silence.
Kindly note that this post is sponsored by TELUS however all thoughts and opinions are my own.