(Alice talking:) Today a friend of mine, Anji Sandage, posted something on her Facebook that was so poignant for me that I feel I need to share it. Take a look and see how you feel about it, and if you can relate in any way:
I was a chubby, buck-toothed, scraggily-haired little girl that couldn't have bought a friend if I had the money. NO ONE would play with me on the playground during recess and the name the kids gave me was Fat Bucky Beaver.
Can you imagine what that daily school experience was like for a little girl that went to bed every night hearing her folks screaming ugly things at each other? Waking to a new day with yet another painful school experience in front of me was often more than I could handle.
So when I read this post I got teary and my heart ached. But I thought, HAH! We're bringing the family back to the dinner table, and that's the best time and place to talk about this ugly social malady. Your children adore and emulate you and hang on your every word. So you are the most effective teachers and influences in their lives. This said, let's have some meaningful conversation around this topic while enjoying good meals together.
Let them know how you feel about this, ask if they've been (or are being) bullied. Ask if they are the bullies. Encourage them to reach out to the loner, the one that doesn't seem to have a friend or isn't fitting in. And if they are being bullied, talk to the right people (you'll be inspired as to whom that is) and address it NOW.
Here's to family dinner made easy, and meaningful, as we use this sacred time to do what we can to make the world better and safer for our kiddies. We can do this, one meal at a time!