I’ve always asked my kids if they need to talk to me and I’m not home, they should write me a note. I’ve gotten notes about how the tooth fairy never showed up to feeling worried about a test, but last night I cried from this note written by my 10 year old daughter. She wrote me a two page note about Amanda Todd. Here is the note with changes to the actual student names:
I finished my homework. At school I’ve been hearing a lot about Amanda Todd and Cindy said she knows so she told me:
One day Amanda was face timing a random person and he said wow your so pretty you should flash (whatever that means) so she did and a guy saw it and said: If you don’t make me a video I will post you flashing. And one Christmas she didn’t make him a video so he posted it and she was called names and got really sick and moved. At the new school, it was better but (she) was alone all the time and one day a guy came to her and she made a mistake and thought he liked her. So he invited her over. But the boy had a girlfriend and she got mad because the boy told her the wrong story so the girlfriend went up to Amanda and talked to her and in the background she heard: “punch her already” so the girl pinned her down and punched (her) over and over and Amanda was lying there. After she went in the corner and cried her dad found her and took her home and then they moved again. So she read emails that said horrible things and she drank (alcohol) and started smoking. And her sickness got even worse and she was bullied so much she drank beach and thought she would die but she went to the hospital. And she started cutting (don’t know what that means) and got more emails that said ‘Oh she should drink more bleach and maybe that will kill her and she would finally die.” So she tried again and she killed herself. So is that what really happened? This is sad. What does cutting and flash mean? Whatever they mean, they don’t deserve what happened.
I was distraught. Of course I heard about this on the news, but I didn’t think to share the information with my daughter. And now, I was late and I missed the opportunity for her to feel empowered with the right information of what happened and what may have led to this girls tragic death. All of sudden nothing mattered. Not my job, my house, money…all that mattered was the reality of my baby growing up in this harsh world. Do I have to talk about this NOW? Am I am I being forced to define ‘cutting’ ‘flashing’ and the reality of how horrible a human being can feel to the degree of taking their own life? Am I resisting the world we live in today and the magnitude of information at our kids’ fingertips or can I just blame this girl on the playground? I was so proud of her for writing me this note, yet so angry with the world that my baby had to face. But then I stopped for a second. What kind of a woman do I want her to be? Naive, ignorant, unaware? No. I want her to be confident, brave and alert. She is going to get information, and I can’t choose when, so I better pull my socks up and face the music of today.
I talked to my daughter on the way to school, answered her questions and finished the conversation feeling so proud of her and our relationship. “Wow” I thought. I am so happy she reached out to me and we talked about this. As she jumped out of our van today to get to class, I felt her strength and was reassured she went today with more in her brain around how to deal with life. I am writing this to my fellow parents to share: as much as I tried to push this horrible story aside, hope it would blow over without my daughter hearing about it and that would better ‘protect’ her, it turned out, protecting her was to talk to her about it. Empowering her by answering her questions and give her the knowledge and advice she was asking me for in her letter. Bullying is terribly powerful that it can kill a child, as it did. I believe now as a parent, I need to talk more about it with my kids.
-Parent of Heart Learning Centre
Heart Learning Centre is a place where issues such as: when is it time to tattle?, how to explain your side of the story, communicating with my parents and much more awesome subjects are discussed and shared with our students aged 4-12. Our centre not only focuses on academic excellence, but readiness for the world and kids understanding their emotions is the key to their success. find out more about our awesome centre because the future is great here: www.HeartLC.com