Parents, Coaches and Teachers – A Look At Bullying – Part 2 – 1st “Conversation With My Kids”

Below is a conversation starter for you with an individual child or a small group. (max 10) The key is to individualize this as much as possible as if you are talking directly to each child. ADD your comments and feelings as they come to you during this “conversation with your kids.” This is meant to be serious. This is meant to show you care. This is meant to show that you are there if needed for any situation that may arise. In parenthesis I offer an instruction or two to help “create the moment.” Please add to this if you feel something needs to be said. Please add an experience or two from your past to make the kids realize that they aren’t alone in facing some uncomfortable situations. Show them we can overcome.

This is short due to their attention span this 1st time. It is meant to start the process of discussion and future conversations. Don’t make this overly long. We want to plant a seed rather than make this a tedious discussion between kids and adults. Let them go away thinking about this rather than being bored. We will come back and add more a little later. I hope they want to talk during this conversation.

Now – This 1st step conversation between you and your kids:

You are valuable. (Look at each individual face in front of you)
You are important to me.
You are important to a lot of people.
You are strong enough, inside, to handle any situation that comes up.
You will not do everything great but you always try hard to do what is right. That is one of the things that makes you special to me and to your good friends.

Sometimes I may get upset with you but that is because you are so important to me.
I want us to grow, to learn things, to be happy most of the time and to work to be better.

There will be times when you fall down a little, but we all do. Not everyone can hit a homerun every time or be perfect on the beam. We all have messed up on a test at school, disappointed our parents or our coaches and we all understand that these kinds of things happen in life.

Sometimes other kids aren’t very nice to us. We have all been called names at school by someone who wants to make us feel unhappy. But you are strong inside and you won’t let them make you sad. They are being mean.

I really like being with you. I am happy when I am with you. (That is enough for now)

Coaches, Teachers and Parents – Look for reactions. “Feel” if you got through a little bit. We want this to be meaningful. This is not a lecture, this is a heartfelt conversation. Opening the door to strengthen each child. Opening the door for the more needy ones to talk to you or for you to observe their individual body language that is crying out “I need a little help.”

More soon, this is a start. Share if you think this is a good idea and will help have an impact. (Do me a big favor and share with me your thoughts and experiences once you have this 1st conversation.) Tom Burgdorf on Facebook

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