If parents want their kids to be good citizens they have to help them learn to think for themselves and care deeply for those around them.
Thats just part of the message internationally recognized parenting expert Barbara Coloroso will share at a lecture at Whistler Secondary School April 20 at 7 p.m.
"(We have) to use the stuff of everyday life, no matter what the age of the child, to help them care deeply, that means using compassion and loving kindness to everyone they meet, to share generously and to help willingly," said Coloroso from her home-base in Colorado.
The lecture, arranged and paid for by the Howe Sound District Parent Advisory Council and its member groups, will focus on bullying, ethics and parenting strategies.
Coloroso, an acclaimed author and speaker, believes that if children are raised ethically and taught to stand up against injustice bullying will diminish.
"We have to teach kids to care deeply, to share generously and help willingly," she said.
"They are the antidotes to the three most virulent agents that rip apart the fabric of our humanity today, and that is hating other human beings, hoarding me, mine and more and harming other people with lying and cheating and stealing and shunning."
Coloroso believes conflict is a natural, normal and necessary part of childhood.
She does not believe that conflict is the same thing as bullying.
"Bullying isnt about a conflict," said Coloroso, who covers the issue in her newest book, The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander.
"Bullying is contempt for another human being."
You have to be taught that, said Coloroso.
"You have to be taught that someone is less than you," she said. "You have to be taught that you can exclude other human beings and you have to be taught that you dont have to be tolerant or deeply caring about other human beings. That is a learned behaviour and it often runs in the family.
"I define it as a conscious, willful, deliberate hostile activity that is intended to harm. (Those who bully) often get pleasure from somebody elses pain, which is not true in a conflict."
It can be verbal, physical, and/or relational. Verbal bullying is the most common, including cell phone and cyber bullying.
To raise kids who wont bully and who wont stand by and watch others be bullied parents have to care deeply about their children and they have to help their kids to feel the same way about others as they grow up.