Editorial: Parents need to get their acts together

Wednesday is Pink Shirt Day, a day when students, teachers, and parents will don pink shirts to make a pastel sartorial statement on the evils of bullying.

And chances are, once the kids are dropped off into a sea of pink, those parents will go to work or go home and forget all about what colour they are wearing and why.

Let’s face it. As adults, we collectively suck at being exemplars for our children.

The focus of this year’s Pink Shirt Day is cyberbullying.

As the official Pink Shirt Day website says:

“In today’s digital world, it can be impossible to escape online bullying, whether it takes the shape of harassment, spreading rumours, sharing embarrassing information or threats.”

And yet, one need only crack open their Facebook feed to see myriad examples of it – particularly on pages designed for digital dominators to air their petty grievances.

One person posts a rant about getting an improperly made coffee, pizza, or a sandwich that they could have easily made at home, and several people will pile on to chastise them for their point of view, often attacking the person rather than the argument.

And just try to have a civil conversation without it getting divided along the left and the right partisan lines.

Sure, it is far easier to hurl epithets and insults with our thumbs when we don’t know the person or when the other person is in the opposite ideological camp.

Clearly, that is less an evil than some bully picking on your kid at school.

Think again.

Online or offline, your kids are watching your behaviour.

Browbeating that clerk at the convenience store as you pound one hand on the counter and hold your five-year-old’s hand with the other does not get missed.

We often say that kids need something productive to do instead of hanging out and wandering the streets. That’s pretty rich from an adult population who are more and more obsessed with scrolling through and engaging in the drama and the schadenfreude of social media.

If we parents could just get our acts together and start acting like adults, maybe we wouldn’t need this annual donning of the pink as a reminder to be a little kinder to one another.


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