This dates back to my tree hugging days, like last week. Being that I love nature what better way than to have nature help me with my parenting.
A tree will stop bullying. A few months ago I wanted to explain the devastating effect being mean to someone can have on the rest of their lives. How, just one single moment of rudeness, could scar a small child into growing up sad, confused and depressed. Well, bent.
I came up with the idea that we are all like trees.
When we are in our mom’s tummy, we are all seeds then we are born into a sprout. As we grow and age do does our branches and leaves. Our parents gives us love and protection same way mother nature gives rain and sunshine to a small tree to help it grow. As small trees we are very vulnerable to nature and our surrounding and anything that happens around us can have devastating consequences in our shape and future. If someone comes and shakes our tree, what happens? We may lose many leaves or maybe even end up with a broken limb somewhere. Not a biggie, we have more. But what happens when it happens again, or the damage is much stronger and your small tree who is barely growing up tiny branches get broken off? That young tree might never be able to grow that one branch again. Can you imagine the devastating effect on that young tree if it keeps getting shaken and branches breaking off? What could happen then? The effects or scars will be for life. As an adult tree he will be missing many branches, limbs and may be without much leaves. What do we do to a tree that is bent one way because his branches are gone on one side, we usually cut it down because it’s leaning so much it could fall and injure someone. This tree is not a healthy tree. That tree is a danger… a danger to cause damage on someone else. This is a child that has been bullied his whole childhood.
Turning a very important topic into something easy for children to understand is key. I almost had their eyes watering down for this poor tree who was scared by being bullied only to end up doing the same thing to someone else.
“Your little sister is a sprout and we have to protect her tiny branches and leaves . We can't or allow anyone else to shake her tree and cause her to grow up bent. Every one of her leaves and tiny branches are precious as she is shaping up to become a big, lush and beautiful round tree that will bear fruit one day and make her own seeds. This is what I want my girls to grow up to be one day.”
They got it. Then I finished off by asking them: “What kind of tree are you?” or “What kind of fruit tree do you want to become?” They were shouting off many idea out, “Apple tree! Orange tree!” I wanted to teach my girls that any kind of bullying is unacceptable and the consequences are for life that may never be repaired. I know it begins with me at home but at the end of the day, if they don’t value themselves they can allow others at school to be the bullies on them.
Remember: Don’t Shake My Tree!
Yes maybe it’s corny, but they got it. :)