Thursday, May 26th, 2011
Marlo Thomas, the actress and activist behind the “Free to Be…You and Me” movement that helped kids to be proud of their individual personalities and culturally diverse personalities, is speaking out against bullying.
Kevin Jacobsen, the father of a bullied teen, inspired Thomas when he wrote to her. Jacobsen had started a website, KindnessAboveMalice.org, in honor of his 14-year-old son, Kameron, who committed suicide in 2010 as a result of the bullying. In an article for the Huffington Post, Thomas urges parents to be more aware and involved in their children’s lives. After speaking to Kevin Jennings, the assistant deputy secretary at the Department of Education, the actress shares how certain questions can help parents determine if their child is being bullied:
- Does your child not want to ride the school bus any more?
- Does your child often wake in the morning complaining about stomach aches and asking to stay home from school?
- Are your child’s friends not coming around so much any more?
- Has your child stopped receiving invitations to parties?
The most important and helpful thing parents can do is initiate conversations about bullying, especially since most kids are ashamed and embarrassed to tell their parents. Instead of letting kids handle the bullying alone, parents need to step in and support them through every crisis and to continue carrying the “Free to Be” message of acceptance and tolerance.
Read more about bullying on Parents.com
- How to Bully-Proof Your Child
- Helping Kids Deal with Bullies
- Cyberbullying 101: What Is Cyberbullying?