Posts Tagged ‘ acceptance ’

Actress Marlo Thomas Speaking Out Against Bullying

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

marlo-thomas-freetobeMarlo 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

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A Sweet Show for Kids

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Do you know the children’s book Freckleface Strawberry, by Julianne Moore? It’s based on her childhood, when that was her (totally unwanted) nickname, and touches on teasing and acceptance. The book is now a Broadway show, and yesterday I took my daughter Julia, who’s 5. Given that the book isn’t exactly filled with plot twists or even characters, I wasn’t sure how the story was going to fill 70 minutes, but turned out to be an absolutely adorable show: great music, really talented performers, and plenty of laughs for kids and adults. (Linda Gabler, the actress who plays the teacher/the mom/ one of the kids, is particularly funny.) Julia got the message—that it’s not nice to tease and that you should be happy being yourself—and in case she didn’t, we’re reminded by the soundtrack, already played in its entirety three times since we got home last night (it was playing as I walked out the door this morning).

Lest you think that this is a girls’ show, I can tell you that there were lots of boys in the audience, and they seemed to be just as into it as the girls were. A few of them even stopped by the “free freckles” station before and after the show, as Julia did:

It’s playing at least through June 5, so if you’re looking for a fun treat for your child, this one will entertain you, too.

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