My 16 year old daughter Katelynn and I just did a FB live together about her #MarchForOurLives walkout this week. It was amazing to hear her thoughts about gun reform because we had never discussed it before.
She has some great wisdom that she wants to share with all of you:
Me: Do you think that kids that seem to be hurting could use a hug and someone to acknowledge their pain? How do you decide who just needs a hug and a “how’re you?” And who needs to be reported for their scary behavior?
KT: I think don’t just go and hug someone, you definitely need to ask them, because you never know how many of them have been sexually assaulted or abused. Asking them first and waiting is a GREAT way to help kids feel better. A lot of teenagers don’t like to open up right away and might not want to open up to a stranger. Ask them if there is someone you can talk to for them.
Me: I know you had a young man argue with you online about guns in school. Can you talk about how you handled that situation and how you changed arguing into a conversation by asking questions?
KT: At first I was pretty sassy and aggressive and that triggered him to be aggressive towards me as well. As we were interacting I realized he is passionate about his opinions too and so I asked him questions about how he felt. He feels safer with guns in school and I don’t. I thanked him for telling me his opinion. The only way we are going to make change is to actually talk about things instead of coming across as aggressive and angry.
Me: You have said that bullying is the problem, not necessarily guns. It seems like the “bullying” is this intangible piece and gun violence is a tangible thing adults can put our hands on. What is one thing we can do to stop gun violence in your schools?
KT: The solution to gun violence is not about guns. It is bullying. In the extreme cases of bullying, kids kill themselves or they kill someone else. A lot of people want to mind their own business when it comes to depression or sadness with kids or bullying at school but people need to be educated about how to deal with those topics. I wish adults would intervene when they see bullying or when it is reported to them. We report bullying all the time and teachers don’t do anything about it.
If you want to see more of this amazing conversationwith Katelynn, head on over to my FB page and check out this incredible dialogue for change!
It’s Friday, change the gun reform paradigm y’all,
Dr. Melissa Bird
Advocacy starts at home. How can others take you seriously as you engage in advocacy for others if you don’t believe in yourself? Visit Patreon.com/birdgirl1001 to find out how I built the tools necessary to grow a new generation of advocates.