I am Kristin Wilson, mother of two girls (a toddler and a preschooler), and a children’s book author working through the publishing process. I was not what you would call popular in school. In elementary and middle school I suffered from acne and a number of other unfortunate issues. And I was terribly self conscious.
So when I arrived at my oldest daughter’s preschool recently, and the teacher told me she was removed from dance class for hitting other children not once, not twice but three times, I was horrified. I realize she’s 3, and it is a phase. But she is at least two inches taller than all the other kids in her class and is not petite.
Coincidentally, I received a book in the mail the night before from a close friend. The book is called Carl – A True Story About Bullying by Marjorie Everson. I read it to both of my girls the very next morning. It was a little wordy for my little ones at first, but the illustrations and concept was not lost on my 3-year-old! I was so excited. She asked me why that boy was crying, and it was the perfect opportunity to talk to her about her actions in class the day before. I told her that picking on people, either by hitting or by saying bad things, was not nice. Because she is the biggest, I said, she needed to look out for other people and verbally defend other people when kids are being bullies!
She got it! I’m far from the perfect mother, so any opportunity to open the lines of communication through reading or activities is fantastic for me.
“What do you do if someone is being picked on?” I asked.
“I tell Miss Mel and Miss Tracey,” she said, solemnly (those are her teachers). I am not sure, but I think she realized then that she was the bully in class the day before.
I do recommend reading this book, from a mother’s perspective, to open the lines of communication about bullying. Even my 1-year-old said, “Oh no!” when she saw the pictures of poor little Carl crying. If my little ones can pick it up that quickly, imagine how the older kids would respond!
– Kristin Wilson
Author & Mom