- Posted September 21, 2013 by
ENUF INNERview Series: Vivian Kirkfield Views on Bullying
One (1) out of three (3) children is bullied each year. Children with disabilities are at a higher risk of being bullied than their peers. ENUF (Ending Negativity to Unify Families) is an anti-bullying online campaign that will encourage families to empower themselves and their children. On behalf of the ENUF campaign, the following interview is part of the ENUF INNERview Series here on HYH Online. For more information about the ENUF campaign visit us on Facebook at Facebook.com/esilentvoice
Our guest, Vivian Kirkfield is a mom and an educator, as well as the author of the award-winning parent-teacher resource, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking. She lives in the Colorado Rockies and is passionate about picture books, enjoys hiking and fly-fishing with her husband, loves reading, crafting and cooking with kids during school and library programs and shares tips and tactics for building self-esteem and literacy in her parenting workshops. To learn more about her mission to help every child gain a positive self-image and become lover of books, please visit her Positive Parental Participation blog or contact her by email.
YVONNE PIERRE: Through your books, workshops and advocacy, you are very passionate about teaching building self-esteem, where does this passion for this topic stem from?
VIVIAN KIRKFIELD: As a child I was shy and timid…what today we would label as ‘social anxiety’. As I grew up, I realized there were many activities I didn’t participate in because I was afraid I wasn’t good enough. I lacked the confidence to say, “I’ll give that a try!” As a kindergarten teacher, I worked hard to uplift the children in my classroom and encouraged them to believe in themselves. As a parent, I gave my children unconditional love and support, while at the same time setting challenges and tasks for them to master. Kids need to have a sense of confidence and competence in their own abilities.
YVONNE: How does self-esteem play a role in bullying?
VIVIAN: Lack of self-esteem and bullying go hand-in-hand! Children who have a poor self-image are more likely to become bullies or the victims of bullies. Kids who respect themselves will reach out to make friends with others instead of pushing others around to feel more important or powerful. Kids who are truly confident do not tease others…I’ve observed that it is usually the child who isn’t sure of his own self-worth who does this. So helping a child develop a positive self-image and high self-esteem is the best defense against bullying!
YVONNE: Children are very observant. I’ve noticed as a parent myself that my sons have picked up a lot of my ways that I didn’t try to teach them. And I’ve also catch myself saying things that my mom has said as well. I don’t think parents realize the impact (good or bad) that they instill into their children. Please share with us in reference to victims and victimizers of bullying, how does what they are learning from home play a role in this?
VIVIAN: Children are amazing mimics! Let me share an interesting example. A cousin of mine walks with a limp. There is nothing in his physical or medical history that would account for this. However, his father had been injured as a young boy and walked with a limp because of that. This cousin grew up watching his father walk and unconsciously imitated that way of moving, even though there was nothing wrong with his own legs. Our children are watching and listening and learning ALL the time…they see how we yell at the cashier at the grocery store who made a mistake giving back change…they hear us disrespecting a friend on the phone. They are learning that yelling and disrespecting others is an acceptable mode of behavior. I’ll share another quick example that shows how children can pick up great habits from their parents. When my daughter was a teenager, her friends always seemed to confide in her and look to her for advice. She came to me once and laughingly told me that as she would talk with them, she was surprised to hear my voice coming out of her mouth…saying the things I had said to her. Do our kids learn from us? You bet they do!
YVONNE: What are some examples of things parents might say or do that affect their child’s self-esteem?
Read this interview in it's entirety at http://hyhonline.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/enuf-series-innerview-with-vivian-kirkfield