It’s no secret that kids can be cruel. According to the American Society for the Positive Care of Children (ASPCC), 160,000 children skip school every day due to fear of being bullied, and 1 in 3 admits they’ve been the victim of bullying.
Sadly, those statistics aren’t entirely the fault of this generation of youth–but rather, their parents. Little eyes and little ears are always watching and listening, quickly molding after adult behavior. Before they can judge others, they must first be taught what the measuring stick of comparison is. All too often, parents’ conscious and subconscious behaviors project that superficial elements like brand names and a slim figure are the marks of success rather than intangible values like integrity, kindness, and compassion.
In a viral Facebook post, a mama named Jessa Porter makes precisely that point, particularly in regard to the hype surrounding name-brand shoes.
Porter professes that she’s seen parents making fun of the off-brand Walmart shoes that don’t carry the prestigious Nike swoosh or Under Armour logo. She explains that their children would have no idea that these equally aesthetically pleasing shoes are considered “lesser than” if their moms and dads didn’t make that clear to them in the first place, and the damaging repercussions are far-reaching.
Porter’s simple but powerful message has since been shared over 100,000 times by parents who are rallying behind her cry to destigmatize knock-off kicks and kick bullying in the butt. Read it in full below:
“I seen a lot of people making fun of these shoes.
A lot of people with children too. Smh.
Listen. Your kids literally don’t know the difference until they hear YOU make fun or crack jokes.
Your kid don’t know to want NAME BRAND until you made the comment “he ain’t wearing no off brand shoes.”
So then your kid goes to school, sees the less fortunate student has on the “off brand” and now your child is mimicking YOU and bullying another student….
Quit teaching these kids a Name Brand means something… I PROMISEEEEE they wouldn’t have cared until YOU MADE THEM CARE.
My daughter always picks out some paw patrol shoes or sandles out… and we’ve bought “fake vans.”
Do you know it took a whole day before she got red Kool-aid on them and they were ruined? Do yall know how mad I’d be if I had spent 40 or 50 on shoes just for her to spill Kool-aid on them? But they were only 13, so I could go grab another pair to replace if I had really wanted to.
The point I’m trying to make is… your kid doesn’t care if the shoe has a Nike, Vans Or Jordan logo… at least they didn’t until you made it very clear that YOU had the issue.
There is NO ISSUE with kids wearing knock off shoes. None. Especially how these kids like to kick up mud and dirt around and spill Kool-Aid on things.
NOTE: To the people who are somehow triggered by this post, I’m not sorry. This isn’t a ‘parent bashing’ post.”