When our oldest started school one of the things we did was sit her down to talk about bullying. We wanted her to understand what it was, how it affected others, and what to do if she was bullied or witnessed someone being bullied. We knew that to get the message to stick with her, having a heart to heart was the way to go. Fast forward 3 years, and it’s time to have that same discussion with our middle child.
My husband and I know that the sitting down to talk to her wouldn’t be as effective as it was with her big sister. Thanks to her October birthday, she is starting school a whole year earlier then her big sister. She is also much more of a hands on learner then her sister. I came across this genius activity a teacher did with her class to teach them about the effects of bullying.
She starts by taking 2 red apples and taping one gently on the floor to bruise it a bit. Then she gathers her class and talks about how similar the apples are on the outside. She goes on to pass around the apple that she bruised earlier and has the children essentially ‘bully’ the apple with harsh words. Then she passes around the other apple that is in perfect condition and has the children say only kind words to it.
When the apples return to her she reviewed how similar the apples still were on the outside, even though the children said kind things to one apple and unkind things to the other. Then she cuts them open and explains in her post:
‘The apple we’d said unkind words to was bruised and all mushy inside. I think there was a lightbulb moment for the children immediately.
‘They really got it, what we saw inside that apple, the bruises, the mush and the broken bits is what is happening inside every one of us when someone mistreats us with their words or actions.’
‘When people are bullied, especially children, they feel horrible inside and sometimes don’t show or tell others how they are feeling.
‘If we hadn’t have cut that apple open, we would never have known how much pain we had caused it.’
‘I shared my own experience of suffering someone’s unkind words last week,’ she said.
‘On the outside I looked OK, I was still smiling. But, on the inside someone had caused me a lot of pain with their words and I was hurting.’
I’m excited to share it with all of you because I really think it will help so many kids understand what bullying does to another child on the inside. It’s such a great tool to use to teach your own children the affects unkind words and actions have on people and to stand up for each other and to stop any form of bullying.
Check out the original post here: