On bullying, swear words, beautiful music, kids and honey badgers (Part I)

That’s some kind of heading, huh? It all started whilst I was pondering stuff in the shower and thought I’d better get some of this stuff written down. So here’s my shower brain dump, people! Read on if you will.

It was in the shower that I was listening to a song that’s been on high rotation round these parts over the past few months. Caught in the Crowd, by Brisbane’s ahmaaazing Kate Miller-Heidke is a song which should be played in every school once kids hit the upper years of primary and into secondary.  It’s the poignant tale of a girl who, bound up in the cruel and cool layers of high school hierarchy, fails to assist a boy who is a victim of bullying, then regrets it in later life. It’s also a beautiful song in its own right; this lady is opera trained and has the voice of an angel!  Listen here.

I have three gorgeous kids who attend a beautiful school with a very sound model on bullying.  But that’s not enough.  We parents need to be continually making more time to create kids who have empathy along with that overused but necessary word, resilience.  Let’s face it though, if we all had more empathy by golly it’d lighten the load, no?  I’m an educator and I’d have this song in my classroom as a study piece for sure.  As a parent I’m doing my darnedest to keep that conversation going. I have the strongest need to teach my kids to respect and admire everyone’s differences and to sometimes bat for the underdog.  There are so many children out there who don’t ever seem to have lost their egocentric natures, which are to be expected during toddlerhood. This morphs and creates a myriad of other issues as they grow. This is so sad for both themselves and those around them.  I’m not naïve and know it’ll get trickier as my brood gets older, but I’m prepared and armed!!! Hope this doesn’t sound preachy; heck, I’m not perfect nor are those around me; who is?  These are just my observations as a teacher and a mother, and I just want to give out another little tool which might prompt a discussion between parents and kids.

So as soon as I was captured by the beauty of this song and its powerful message it was promptly downloaded and played to my kiddies (11,9 and 7…..I don’t think you can ever be too young for such messages).  They adore the music and it has created amazing discussion in our house.  There’s always music playing at our house, and when on high rotation that stuff sinks in! My eldest was tested the other day when she received a friend request from one of the less popular boys in her year level. I was proud of her response. I was grateful that we had this song as a reference point, too!

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Just keep on doing this, kids. You’ll be alright.

As I write this, gorgeous blogger Ruth of Gourmet Girlfriend comes to mind.  She and her husband have a wonderful parenting philosophy, and together they’re raising five beautiful sons on a cocktail of love, brilliant food, tunes, hard work and fun.  There are days I’d like to live there too. If you’ve not already done so, go visit her. You’ll come out all the richer for it!

* I discovered Kate Miller-Heidke through Janine of Shambolic Living.  She’s a lovely, great humoured mum of two teenage girls, and the story of how she managed to get them to the Kate M-H concert is really a post worth reading!!

It was a veery long shower….and we don’t have mains water round these parts. It’s either rainwater or it has to be trucked in. So I may be in trouble if the hubs reads this. There’s so much more that I’m going to have to turn my shower brain dump into a Part II; then we can get stuck into the honey badgers, I can’t wait!! Stay tuned…….

 

Have you ever used music as a tool?

How are you travelling with discussions with your offspring?

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12 thoughts on “On bullying, swear words, beautiful music, kids and honey badgers (Part I)

    • I love your blog, Janine! We’ve also collected a few other Kate H-M tracks….it’s on our wishlist to see her perform live now! So thanks so much fir the lovely heads-up!!! 🙂

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  1. Hey Sarah, I couldn’t agree more with your thoughts on encouraging your children to be kind and thoughtful of others. Although at the moment being just 4 and nearly 3, it does get tricky. I hope my husband and I can encourage them to respect and admire peoples differences. I love Kate’s message – She does sound like an angel!

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    • Hi Joanne, Ha, yep, you’re still at the tricky age! I probably drove my poor littles batty with the constant asking about how they thought another person might feel in certain situations! We’ve been lucky too in that our kids have been gifted with close relationships with very elderly great-grandparents, and from day dot they have had an awareness about being mindful of the frailties of others…. I’m so sure that kick started them! Oh and Kate! We just love her tracks! Beware, though, she does have a few expletives here and there in some songs; we’ve handpicked the kid-friendly playlist! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!! Xx

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  2. Great post Sarah. At the risk of repeating myself…we really do have so much in common! I LOVE that song. In fact I bought the album after hearing just that one song, it was enough for me! I absolutely use songs as tools…for healing, mulling things over, for motivation and inspiration, for cleaning, walking, laughing, crying and everything in between and most definitely in the classroom (another fave for the classroom is From Little Things Big Things Grow).

    I like to hope that, for the most part, we have raised two motivated, independent and compassionate human beings and I really like that you have specified the values of empathy and resilience. I think the early work is SO important as once they hit 17 & 19 like mine, there is only so much influence a parent can have. A friend with adult children once said to me ‘there comes a time when you just have to let go and watch all of your good work fall into place’ xoxo

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    • Ohhh, YES!! Paul Kelly’s material is just such a treasure trove, isn’t it! We have his book of lyrics (not that we really need them, we know most of the words!). There’s such incredible power in music! We must’ve been twins in a former life!
      Rachel, it’s so easy to tell, even just over the inter webs, that you have raised two gorgeous kids! I guess I’ve found it a little alarming of late to encounter some kids who just don’t get that the world doesn’t revolve around them; their lack of insight into caring about others alarms me, and I’ve pondered how this comes about. Don’t get me wrong, by and large most of the kiddos I know show beautiful and caring natures!
      What a great quote from your friend; I do hope I’m not an interfering old biddy of a mother, and that I can let go!!!! Xx

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      • WonderTwins activate! I’m sure you won’t be an interfering old biddy of a mother! Talk about letting go, we just put our baby on a flight to Istanbul for a school trip and I feel a little lost actually. The flight tracker app is getting a good workout this morning!!! Thank goodness the letting go comes to us in stages, not sure I could cope with it all at once!!!

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  3. Oh goodness! It’s hard enough when they go on school camp just a couple of hours away! Sending out great flight vibes and, wow, what wonderful stories you’re bound to hear! What a great opportunity! Now, go and have a nice cup of tea and some of that choc fudgey goodness! Xx

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    • Oh thanks so much, Toni! How quick you were! I just bumble along as we all do and hope they turn out ok at the other end! Hoping I give them a good journey!! I’m off to see what you’re up to! How lovely to find another blogger in this neck of the woods! You might spur me on now!! Xx

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