Two weeks before the twins were born I started writing my girls letters. I’ve never stopped. This month I thought I’d share one with you.
Dear baby girls,
I simply love being your daddy but sometimes it’s difficult being a parent. I love you girls so very much I automatically want to protect you from anything that can hurt you physically or emotionally. But the truth is that even though you may see me a superhero, I can’t always be there when you’re in trouble.
The school environment should be a safe one for all but all too often that isn’t the case. Quite simply sometimes people are mean. Little girls can be strange creatures. Sometimes they think it’s clever to make fun of other little girls. They think they’re being funny. They think that because their friends are laughing it’s a good thing. Sometimes they think it makes them better than the person they’re picking on. None of these things are true, baby dolls.
Laughing at others is never nice or good. It doesn’t make you better – quite the opposite in fact. If you need to feel better about yourself by bringing other people down then there’s something seriously wrong with you and your self-image. And there’s certainly nothing clever or funny about making others feel sad or small. If you see someone making fun of someone else in a mean way I hope you feel strong enough to step in and help the person who is feeling sad. It’s a terrible feeling and not one anyone should have to go through. Stand up for them. Stay calm – don’t make it an argument – and tell the person making fun that “making people sad isn’t cool”. You often can’t make the person understand so then take the person being picked on away from that environment; to somewhere safer. If enough people stand up to bullying then the bully loses power and stops. If enough people can make them realise it’s not nice or clever then they often stop doing it at all.
Now I want to tell you that this should solve the problem but I never lie to you so I have to admit that it might not. In fact it might make you the target of the mean words too, which breaks my heart. But standing up for others is the right thing to do. I want to tell you to calmly respond with “It’s sad you don’t care about others” and walk away but that’s a bit confrontational. You need to stay calm.
The problem is people will often say mean things to you and it will hurt. I can’t shield you from that but I want you to know that those people’s opinions don’t mean anything. It will still hurt. But the opinions of mean people mean nothing. If it happens to you then stay calm and walk away. Tell a teacher. Come home and tell me. At the very least, tell your twin (but remember that despite me bringing you up on Batgirl and Wonder Woman, vigilante justice is not necessarily the answer). You are so dearly loved. Never forget the only opinions that count, are yours to yourself and from those who truly love you.
Love always, your daddy.
THE BIG Q… We ask The Hub experts what their 2017 New Year’s resolution is…
My main resolution for 2017 is to not put off anything I have to do. Don’t get behind, get in and do it. Hopefully this will help me be more organised and stay on top of things.