One of my favorite things is to enjoy a cup of coffee as I watch “drop off” time at the elementary school across the street from my house.

Every day since this school year has begun has included at least one very poignant scene.

On Friday, as I sipped my steaming cup of Joe outside on the porch, I watched as a mom got her son, who appeared to be about 7 years old, out of the car. The dad remained inside to watch the baby in the backseat. His mom leaned down to retie his shoe, adjust his back pack — and straighten his mask. This little parental action of love is obviously a new one this year. It hits me in the throat every time.

As the crossing guard stopped traffic and waved them across the street, the little boy turned toward the car and with complete clarity — even behind those annoying (but necessary) pieces of cloth — yelled, “I LOVE YOU, DAD.”

Not just, “love you,” “bye,” or simply waving, he said, and I repeat: I LOVE YOU, DAD.”

I couldn’t see his dad’s face but if it was anything like his son’s at the moment, it was full of pride and confidence.

It’s that kind of confidence that helps kids through anything. October is National Bullying Prevention Month. This year, parents are overwhelmed with how to navigate life, in general, so taking time out to focus on bullying isn’t easy.  For that reason, I will keep the advice simple:

Know the power you have.

Take care of yourselves.

Even if you’re really tired, try to listen.

And a few reminders:

Providing positive attention to your kids gives them confidence.

Confidence is what humans need to be resilient.

Resilience = Success in life. 

Even self assured kids may be feeling off balance this year with all the changes they’ve had to endure. As adults, we’re feeling off balance, too.

That’s why I think you are the greatest generation of parents. Your kids are learning resilience because you’re practicing resilience every day alongside them. It’s far from perfect, courtesy of Covid, but you are doing your “new best.”

On behalf of your kids during this highly unusual National Bullying Prevention Month, thank you for helping them become their best selves. Even a pandemic isn’t stopping you

 

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