Today is National Bullying Prevention Unity Day: Make it orange and make it end! Unite against bullying! Bullying is a nationwide issue; it affects students locally, in every school and organization across our community.
The McMillen Center is the largest regional provider of bullying education, reaching over 5,000 youth a year with our bullying programs. We are having conversations with many students about bullying, but the most important conversation kids can have about bullying are the ones they have at their family table. Through the Family Table project, we are working to strengthen families one meal at a time – intentional conversations take place when families make the time to sit down and connect. Why not plan to sit down with your family, friends, or close ones and ask, “Do you ever feel like you are being picked on?” Or, “Do you know someone who is being picked on?”
And then, really listen. Knowing they have a safe place to share, can give children the courage they need to open up to us about what may be happening in their lives. The conversation at family meals can provide children with the determination and strength to look at the person who may be picking on them, and respond, this time, in a way that makes that behavior change. Not only do family meals provide a time to share, studies also show that kids who eat at least three family meals a week are less likely to bully other children.