Updated: Nov 6, 2020
As I allude to on my Navigating Bullying page, I have written to the Pink Shirt Day campaign, and our school, on a couple of occasions, to share that the way they are running this campaign is not only in-effective, but it also hides the true cries for help from the students (and families).
I truly feel Pink should be reserved for people who are asking for help with a specific problem. When everyone wears pink, we have no ability to see where the problem is and no one to ask what is needed to resolve the problem.
I have even been so bold to say that the Pink Shirt Day campaign should be making an effort to work themselves out of business, not trying to become more popular.
We are all already quite aware that bullying is happening among our youths and the rates of bullying, like the rates of anxiety, depression, autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, and behavioural problems are going UP, not DOWN.
The current campaign is in-effective because it solely targets kids as being the source of the problem!
The Pink Shirt Day campaign raises money, not to support when instances of bullying occur, but to deliver empathy training to all kids.
How can you expect kids to behave in an empathetic way when parents, schools, and society repeatedly use tactics below 200 on the Scale of Consciousness to motivate/coerce children into doing what they want them to do?
You are essentially asking kids to accept being bullied by parents, school, and society, and then turn around and not do the same to each other.
Is this reasonable, or even fair?
You may say: parents, school, and society do not bully children, we are trying to guide them so that they can be functional members of society...
Let me (re-)define bullying for you...
Bullying = forcing someone to do something in order to make yourself feel better.
Parents, school, and society use strategies below 200 in the table above (Force) because they are afraid! They are afraid that if they do not do this their kids will fall behind and they will be blamed for being bad parents or bad teachers.
You may say: Shame, Guilt, Fear, Desire, and Pride are not so bad, when the intention is to support children to grow into their best selves.
But, you are not supporting them to grow into their best selves, you are FORCING them to grow into who you think they should be!
If you want to support them to grow into their best selves, you would use strategies above 200 (Courage, Neutrality, Willingness, Acceptance, Reason, and Unconditional Love). You would see Joy in who THEY are trying to become, not who YOU want them to be or think they should be.
You would calm your fears by looking at their unique psychology and growth trajectory (through their Human Design, Soul Contract, Gene Keys, and Astrology) and see that they are already on track and, in fact, trying to teach you something.
So, how do we move up the Scale of Consciousness, and why would we want to?
My husband was going to create this app for me to share with you, but he took too long and I wanted you to have it, so I created it here: https://www.yourlifeplan.ca/raisingconsciousnessapp
Here is what came to me in the past couple of days:
Bullying is actually a very interesting learning opportunity.
And adults and kids need to play very different roles in the process.
I saw this cartoon float around Facebook that showed the way to deal with a bully is to not care about the things he/she is insulting you for. This is very old and surface advice - i.e., ignore the bully and you will become un-interesting to them and they will go away. And it completely misses the point AND the learning opportunity!
Something we often forget is the "victim" is also drawing the bullying situation to themselves to learn.
They are trying to learn: how is power used in-appropriately, how can I step into my power when the other is apparently standing in my way, and how can I get to the root of the issue and actually become a healer?
You can tell who these kids are, as they usually carry karmic 9s in their Soul Contract. Go here for information about an app my husband built that allows you to calculate your own Soul Contracts Charts: https://www.yourlifeplan.ca/sccalculator
A karmic 9 means they regret how they used their power in a past life and they want to do better in this life. The only way to learn how to do better is through experience.
The other part we often ignore is kids often use in-appropriate tactics with each other because they have yet to develop the skills to voice their needs, pain, or to reach out and create a bond with the other.
When my son was 2yrs old, the daycare staff would often tell me that he pushes the other kids. Their solution to his pushing was to put him in a corner by himself and give him a shopping cart. They would say "we push carts, not our friends".
At the time I was a new mom and I didn't know right from wrong, but my son was crying at the breakfast table everyday, not wanting to go to daycare, so I investigated further.
Turns out, of course, my son was pushing his friends to try to get them to play with him. He didn't know any other way to engage them in play. So I moved him to a preschool where they actually take the time to coach kids through these sorts of scenarios.
I.e., "Oh, I see you are pushing your friend, are you trying to get him to play with you? If you want him to play with you, why don't you watch to see what your friend is playing, then say - my name is X, could I play Y with you?"
Not all kids have the luxury of finding the right support when they are young, to learn more effective ways to engage others in play.
This is where the adult and the child have different roles. Yes, the child has a right to protect themselves in whatever way they can (wearing a pink shirt, pretending not to be bothered by the bully's comments, etc.) but the true learning comes in when an adult can facilitate the experience.
Dig a little deeper - why is the "bully" bullying, what is the "victim" trying to learn from the situation?
My son has had a few situations of "bullying" - one where he was a bystander, and one where he was a target of "not so nice child lack of social skills". My son is actually very eager to understand what is going on, and to see how he can learn from this.
In the case of being the bystander he has realized the child who was being bullied just wanted to be friends and the bullies didn't accept this child's way of trying to get into the friendship group, so my son just straight up offered to be his friend.
In the case of being the "victim" we are still working on it. The child who is being mean to him is his friend and is not a bully, yet his actions are hurtful and unkind, mostly due to a lack of understanding of how his actions and words hurt others. And for me to tell my son "well, just pretend you don't care" is not helpful, no one learns.
Instead my son is trying to voice where he is hurt: "I wait for you when you are slow to get ready, but you don't wait for me, and that hurts my feelings. You ask me to tell you my secrets, but then you don't tell me yours. And when I say I don't want to tell you my secrets, you say you are going to tell the teacher. I really care what the teacher thinks about me, and it puts me in a really tough situation when you say you will tell just because I am not doing what you want. Can we find a better way to communicate?".
Photo created by katemangostar on https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/school
I am also working with my son to support him to understand that we are ALL a work in progress. He can accept his friend as he is, and know that in some areas he is a great friend, and in some areas he is still learning. My son is only 6.5yrs old!
THIS is how we teach our kids! We engage with the problem and work with them.
My son does carry a Spiritual Karma 9-9 in his Soul Contract, as I spoke about above. And I changed the spelling of his name so that, instead of feeling like a victim, he can now really feel and voice the nuances of his experience, so he can capture the lesson he was after when he decided to carry a 9-9 as a Spiritual Karma.
So, if you must wear a Pink shirt, if you want to raise money for empathy training, if you want to tell your child to pretend the bully doesn't bother them, go for it.
But know, you can go a lot further as your child's parent, teacher, or adult.
A child may not be able to face a bully head-on alone, but an adult certainly can. And any adult who decides to do so MUST do so with love (or they should find someone else who can)!
This is not about doling out the right kind of punishment, this is about understanding the child and the situation and offering alternative strategies that the child can try in order to get their needs met.
Reach out to me, if you want to chat more:
I have faced a LOT of adult bullies, and trust me, it is way better for everyone to deal with this issue when the bully is still a child.
The child that you see as a bully is actually crying for help. You can save him/her from a lifetime of being the Evil Queen in the TV series Once Upon A Time. The Evil Queen simply wants to be accepted and loved and she just cant do anything right, she is forever reminded of her mistakes, and the more we squash her down as a society, all wearing Pink to ban against her, the more evil she unleashes on others.
Photo by @gogirl222 on https://weheartit.com/gogirl222/collections/111779474-the-evil-queen
Trying to save an adult bully is MUCH harder!
The epic battle of good vs evil (within, not between, each of us) starts on the playground. Adults, parents, teachers, and school administrators need to be role models, facilitators, and guides!
As a Divine Healer, I can request that the karmic "bully-victim" relationship be cut between my son and others, but I am working with him on this. This is his life, and his lessons, he calls the shots. And, I can't do anything with Divine Healing that is not in his highest and best good anyways, it simply would not take.
I would love to hear your KIND thoughts on this topic.
Love and Bless, Strong Family!
Family Dynamics and Life Purpose Specialist
MSc Psychology/Neuroscience (Stress and Health)
You Have A Life Plan