Unfortunately, many people will be bullied at least once in their lifetime for anything from their height and clothing, to their interests or hobbies.
After a child is made fun of at school, parents or teachers usually work to reassure the child and comfort them.
One teacher from Sao Paulo, Brazil took her comforting to the next level. Ana Barbara Ferreira said one of her students was upset after a male classmate called her hair ugly. Ferreira did what anyone would--she told the young girl she was wonderful and to ignore him, according to a Facebook post.
Most of us may have stopped with that heartfelt gesture, but Ferreira took her kindness one step further.
The next day, Ana showed up to school wearing her hair in the same style as the little girl's. When the child saw her, she ran to her, hugged her and told Ferreira that she looked beautiful. To which Ana replied, "Today I'm beautiful like you!"
This is just one example of how small acts of kindness affect people. Ferreira went above and beyond her duty as a school teacher to show compassion for her student by lifting her spirits in a personal way.
We can watch for opportunities to lift those who are facing difficult times or those who are victims of someone else's unkind words or deeds. As parents, we can teach our children to do the same.
Invite children who are sitting alone at lunch to sit with them
Invite children who are alone on the playground to play with them
If another child is being bullied, intervene by standing up for the child, or simply befriend the child
Be kind, friendly and accepting of others
Teach your kids the power of kindness and to look for those in need of a friend, whether they are being bullied or not.
As adults, not only can we practice what we preach, but we can also make sure we are not in the habit of gossiping, excluding or hurting others. We can go out of our way to be friendly to others at work, church, or anywhere else we may be during our day-to-day lives. We can look for those who need a friend, a kind word or a smile to brighten their day.
Ana's act of kindness, wasn't some grand gesture, but a simple way she could show love for her student who needed encouragement. Those small, kind deeds are truly the most powerful.