We talk about the way someone looks, or we comment on their choice of clothes. We talk about their lifestyle or their work ethics or the way they live their life.
Every time we do this in front of our children, we tell them that it’s O.K. to judge, to criticize and to critique other people, that we are somehow superior in nature, in taste, in aesthetics.
That’s what judging is all about, it’s assigning our own values on someone else’s reality.
October is National Bullying Prevention month and although we tend to think of bullying as physical and overtly abusive, judging is a very real element of bullying. If our kids feel that it’s O.K. to judge their peers, to criticize their choices, their appearance, the way they live, the way they talk; we have the breeding ground for bullying.
To me bullying is about deriving a sense of power by physically, emotionally or mentally reducing another person. So it’s not just about the bully on the playground who gives the littler kid a wedgie, it’s about the boy or girl who feels justified in making fun of another’s hair or clothes or looks.
Sometimes as parents we are unconscious to the impact our own behavior has on our children. We don’t pay attention to the fact that our kids are watching us and learning what is right and what isn’t right.
It is our role as parents to model healthy, empowering, respectful, grateful behavior for our children. It is our role to set the tone for the type of talk that is acceptable and unacceptable. If we watch television and criticize the way a celebrity looks; or we talk on the phone in front of our kids and tear another parent, or our sister or our brother or our mother down; we teach our children that it’s O.K. for us to judge and if its O.K. for us to judge, then it must be O.K. for them to judge too.
During National Bullying Prevention month I have a Conscious Parenting challenge. Make the commitment for the entire month of October to be conscious of the conversations you have with and around your children. Be conscious and remove the critical, judgmental elements and when you remember after the fact, let your kids know that what you said wasn’t O.K. and tell them why.
We can also take this opportunity to point out judgement when we hear it, whether it’s characters on a television show or from your kids directly. Use this month to not only be conscious of your own words and actions, but also point out what’s going on around you. Because no one defines these behaviors as unacceptable, kids feel that they are the norm. Teach them that there is another way.
Our parents had a great adage ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.’ Let’s try to live by that this month and see if through our own actions, we can begin to support our children in having more compassion, more respect and more empathy for the people in their lives.
© 2012 Christine Agro
Have friends who will benefit from this information? Use the handy share options provided at the top of the article . You’ll find Facebook, Twitter, Google +1, Email or click the ‘share’ for many, many other options.
Remember, join me at The Conscious Mom’s Guide for more insight, guidance and to connect with a growing group of conscious parents.
Christine Agro is a Clairvoyant, Naturopath, Master Herbalist, Conscious Mom and Author of 50 Ways to Live Life Consciously as well as of The Conscious Living Wisdom Cards (Special Moms’ Edition). Christine is founder of The Conscious Mom’s Guide , a membership site where she helps support you on your own journey of living life consciously and on your journey of being a Conscious parent. You can also join Christine on Facebook. To contact Christine, invite her to speak or to schedule an appointment with her please email her.