We believe that rascals who truly feel loved, confident and safe will never feel the need to bully. To celebrate Pink Shirt Day, we had the honour of interviewing Leesa McGregor, author of the best-selling “A New Alphabet for Humanity.” This book is leading a movement to create a more heart-centered world. Leesa tells us all about it and how we can inspire our rascals to be kind, compassionate and loving to all people:
Your wonderful book, “A New Alphabet for Humanity”, inspires children and parents around the world. Why do you think this is?
I essentially rewrote the alphabet to include 26 empowering words designed to activate a child’s full potential and create a brighter future. “A New Alphabet for Humanity” is about teaching children the power of positive words and values so they can feel happier, think bigger and feel empowered to live their dreams. For every book sold, one tree is planted. People love our mission and how the book provides an entire heart-based education in one simple book.
As an Amazon #1 Best Seller in Parenting and Early Education, “A New Alphabet for Humanity” is a book that is leading a movement to create a more heart-centered world. My vision is to empower the next generation of children to be compassionate, kind and loving to people and the planet.
How can we best support our kids to understand the importance of Pink Shirt Day?
I think we can talk to our kids about why it's important to work together and show others respect and this is truly what it means to be a good human. We can explain to our kids the golden rule of treating others as you want to be treated. Whenever I discuss bullying with my young son I always ask him to think about how it feels to be the other person, to really cultivate empathy for others. Empathy is everything.
Pink Shirt Day is just one day, but truthfully, every day should be a Pink Shirt day. How can we help our kids to be more understanding of and compassionate towards other kids?
After having my son, I started to imagine how different the world would be if children were taught empathy and compassion from an early age. I realized it’s never too early to teach young children how to be great human beings. From there, an idea was born - for me to create “A New Alphabet for Humanity”. I believe it’s never too early to teach children about having empathy and compassion for others.
Why do you think kids bully?
I think it stems from something within: a feeling of sadness, insecurity or something happening in the family home. I think the more children can see themselves and others through the lens of compassion, the more we can recognise that people aren’t inherently “bad”.
How can we best support our kids to ensure that they don’t feel the need to bully?
I think it's important to always talk about empathy with our kids and encourage them to step into another person’s shoes and imagine how another person is feeling. The more children learn about empathy, I believe the less inclined they will be to want to bully. In the case of my son, we talk about scenarios and what he would do if he saw someone being bullied. I think the more kids are aware of what bullying is and how to spot it, the less likely it will happen.
How do we parents show love and support to kids that bully?
I think this starts with having an open heart ourselves. To have a sense of compassion for what is actually happening underneath the surface. This may not be the easiest thing to do, but the very act of having compassion and empathy for others is world changing.
What is your best advice on how we can best teach our kids to support instead of alienate others?
I believe this is about continuing to model and cultivate empathy and compassion for others, having an understanding for others who may be having a difficult time in life. This all can lead to bullying.
What words (+ letter) in “A New Alphabet for Humanity” are best for teaching kids how to support bullies and make them feel more loved?
“A New Alphabet for Humanity” is a book of heart-based values that helps parents teach their children the values and qualities we all desire to live by - words like kindness, bravery, compassion, empathy, self-love, gratitude, respect for people and the earth. Instead of teaching A is for Apple, B is for Ball, C is for Cat, “A New Alphabet for Humanity” helps young children learn the power of positive words like A is for Abundance, B is for Bravery, C is for Compassion, D is for Diversity, E is for Empathy and so on. I believe we have the power to change how we educate young children, by providing a simple framework of words that help children to develop empathy and social skills. I truly believe our primary focus as parents should be raising kind, confident and caring kids.
Thank you Leesa McGregor for taking the time to share your knowledge and advice. Her book, “A New Alphabet for Humanity,” is available on Amazon. To support Pink Shirt Day, you can learn more on their website about how they raise awareness or donate to their cause.
Leesa McGregor is a Best Selling Author, Speaker and Social Entrepreneur. Her vision is to inspire a global movement toward a more love-based education. Join her in growing a movement for positive change on her website.