|Posted by Kirstin Parkin on April 23, 2018 at 1:30 PM||comments (10)|
It finally happened – a mean girl made you cry, and I had to reign in every one of my Momma Bear instincts to deal with it.
We were at a birthday party recently and there was a girl there, maybe 6 or 7 years old. I witnessed her being a jerk to numerous people, including my special needs friend who is 9 years old, and other adults as well. She stuck her tongue out at my husband and his friend. Told other kids ‘I don’t like you.’ Told my kid that she wasn’t friends with the birthday girl. She was plain RUDE. Her behaviour was atrocious. It didn’t really offend me until she made my kid cry. I wanted to go out into the hallway (where her mother was playing on her phone, totally uninvolved) and scream at her mom to deal with her little girl. I mean, who allows such behaviour? This little girl was the niece to my good friend who was throwing the party, and to my friends credit, she took action. She told off her ‘darling’ niece and made her stand at the back of the cake line up because she budged and tried to push kids out of the way. There’s not too much she could do, as her sister in law was completely uninterested in being involved with her daughters behaviour. My friend tried to help though, and allowed my crying little girl to go second in the piñata line up to try and make her feel better. It did help although my poor, sensitive kid told me that it was the worst birthday party ever, all because of this one little girl who knows no boundaries.
Thanks to her though, it sparked some important conversations with my two big girls.
First, we talked about how to handle mean girls. Simple, don’t be their friends. Don’t invite that kind of negativity into your life. If they harm you, tell an adult, otherwise, tell them that they’re rude and walk away. Don’t engage with them because that’s what gives them power. We talked about how bullies suck and how important it is to be kind to others. So thanks for that, mean girl.
Second, we talked about how you can never be beautiful if you don’t have a kind heart. I told my girls that that bully will never be truly beautiful if she can’t treat people with kindness. She might have pretty blonde hair and a cute face, but the negativity that emanates from within will forever prevent her from being beautiful. Beauty comes from inside, and a bully doesn’t have the necessary equipment. Beauty required kindness. Thanks for that lesson, mean girl.
Thirdly, we talked about a lesson that my Dad taught me - to feel bad for the mean girl. To pity her. People must be very unhappy to treat others that way. You will never find a Bully who has a happy heart, and that makes me sad for them. If you can take your own sadness for how she treated you, and reflect it back into how sad she must be to act like that, it can help you to cope with how you were mistreated. Having empathy for the bully can help you to realise that their actions are a reflection of their insides, and how utterly sad it is that her insides are so unhappy.
I do feel bad for that mean girl. She will not have an easy life. I also feel bad for her mother, who is obviously dealing with her own issues. While I feel sad and angry, I also appreciate the opportunity to teach my daughters such important lessons. That kindness is the most important lesson.
|Posted by Kirstin Parkin on September 16, 2015 at 1:50 PM||comments (2)|
There will come a day when you will see something, or learn of something so heartbreaking that it makes your heart bleed. It’s so hard to hear of such tragic stories without feeling totally overwhelmed with the pain, or sorrow, anger, or fear.
The suffering that exists in the world is infinite. It is seemingly unending and there are no justifications to explain the horrendous evils that permeate our world. The News tells us about the worst things happening around the world at all times. Sometimes, the tragedies happen close to home, other times they happen to someone we know. Perhaps it’s about people, or maybe animals, or the environment, and frequently, it’s happening to millions of people on the other side of the world. War, missing women, good people with terminal diagnosis, random acts of violence, targeted hate crimes, school shootings, cruelty to animals, innocent children lost. These things are happening. All. The. Time.
My hope for you during such pain and confusion, is that you can try hard to focus on the good. Look for the people who are helping. Look to see all the people who care. See the good. They’re there but you need to make the effort to shift your focus from the bad. Feel all the sadness that comes with hearing about devastation. It’s okay to cry, so cry. And then let it go.
Focus on your life and making it the best it can be, because ultimately we don’t know how long any one of us will be around for. While we don’t know what disaster is lurking around the corner, we cannot live a life in chaos and fear. We must keep faith and remember for every ten stories of sorrow and sadness, there are hundreds of stories of happy blessings that just need to be told. We need to share the good tales with happy endings. As much as Evil exists in the world, so does Good, and that’s where you need to focus.
I’m thinking of so many people while writing this. A little two year old girl abducted and killed. Incomprehensible. A little boy hit by a truck and died. Unimaginable. A sweet man diagnosed with ALS. A high school friend killed during a police altercation. Another stabbed and killed over drugs. Millions of refugees desperate to escape Terrorism and Extremists. Girls and women stolen and sold into the sex trade. Animals suffering neglect and abuse.
The only thing that I can think of is that these things are unacceptable and cannot, will not, be stood for. Our modern society is evolving to a place where equality will not only be a reality for everyone on the planet, but it will be a fundamental belief that will be defended by every country in the world. The advancement of globalization and social media are connecting people in a way that has never happened before. People are ending modern slavery with a Gofundme.com account, and rallying around people with change.org online protests. Cell phone videos are exposing violent abusive people and providing evidence. Police are tracking down pedophiles by pretending to be young girls on the internet. Things are changing. Things are improving. The atrocities inflicted by people in power spark revolution and change.
Please remember that for every criminal there are numerous police officers working to put them away. For every ALS death there are many scientists working to find a cure. For every natural disaster, there are countless people who swoop in and help as many people as possible. For every senseless death, there is some lesson that can be learned. There is still good. I cannot control the bad in this world, I can however choose to live in positivity, love and optimism.
I Pray to God numerous times a day, and it never changes: “Dear God, please keep my family safe, keep us healthy, and keep us together. Amen”
|Posted by Kirstin Parkin on February 7, 2015 at 3:25 PM||comments (1)|
One day in the distant future, you will be faced with trying to decide what career you want. It’s a right of passage that we all go through, and it can be quite daunting, especially when you’ve been taught that you can do anything you put your mind to. My advise to you is that you consider not only what you want to do for a career, but how you want to make a living. How you want to spend your days, because you will spend a HUGE amount of your time doing your job. A job that you work five days a week, eight hours a day, fifty weeks a year, equates to about two thousand hours a year of you doing your job. I suggest that you do something that you enjoy.
When I was in high school, I found micro biology fascinating. The idea of these tiny microbes living in a world only visible by microscope was incredibly interesting to me. I decided that I wanted to be a microbiologist. I knew that I could be anything I tried to be, so why not that?
Our high school did a work experience program and I was able to go spend an eight hour day in the labs at our hospital. There was an incredible array of high tech equipment used for diagnosing peoples ailments, some very nice men and women who were very kind to me, and a behind the scenes view of what happens in labs to help people. The nice lady in the microbiology departments was very kind, and she showed me what she does on a daily basis which was taking samples from patients, putting them on Petri dishes, then incubating them to see what would grow. After the samples had time to incubate, the type of microbe could then be identified and a patient would be diagnosed.
Fascinating, but not for me. I found the lab to smell really bad, which makes total sense because you are, after all, growing microbes from stool, urine and bile samples. Of course that would smell bad. It was also dark, because that too, is useful for growing things that like the dark and damp environments.
The ladies spent their day in the lab, save only for leaving for lunch and coffee breaks, which consisted of going down one level to the cafeteria. They didn’t see fresh air for the whole day. I knew after one day, that that wasn’t how I wanted to spend my two thousand hours a year. I’m very thankful for that work experience though, because it’s a hard lesson to learn after you’ve spent four years in college getting trained for a profession that you won’t actually like doing.
I make my living working on a ferry boat. I make a great wage with good benefits, and I get to be outdoors. I get to talk with people all day long, and enjoy the gorgeous west coast scenery that we’re famous for. I revel in the joys of watching dolphins, hump back whales and killer whales on a regular basis. I thrive in the routine of going back and forth from dock to dock, four round trips a day.
I help load traffic onboard, then I go steer the ferry to the next dock. I am highly trained to respond to emergencies on board, like fires, fuel spills, crash landings and evacuations. I am confidant in my job, and I’ve been given great opportunities working in my field.
I had to make a decision about how I wanted to make a living. It was hard for my parents to accept that I was dropping out of college to pursue my marine tickets, but they were, like they always have been, supportive of me. Eleven years later, I know I made the right choice.
I encourage you dear daughters to consider not only the career you want when you grow up, but to consider how you want to make a living.