Using a zipper bracelet, this fidget toy can have a dual purpose to stand up against bullying and to remember if you have nothing nice to say, it’s best to keep your mouth closed.
I was at a local craft fair doing photography sessions back in 2014. On one of my breaks, I walked past a booth and saw a 12-year-old girl selling these zipper bracelets. These bracelets have a unique story behind them with a great lesson built right in.
ZIP IT or Do Not ZIP IT
These are “Zip- It’s” Bracelets. Children that wear them are committed to a two-fold idea. Firstly, if they can’t say something nice to someone, they will keep it zipped! However, if they see someone being bullied, they should speak up and report it and NOT zip-it.
Chantelle and her mom Gina, were there to raise funds for their grass root charity, called “F.I.B.B”, which stood for Families Impacted by Bullying. Chantelle’s older sister, Jade was affected by a group of girls while in high school in England. She was physically bullied, to the point where she received brain damage, and has suffered lifelong consequences from their physical abuse. Jade’s story and her Mom’s are featured in this book, “Ray of Hope” as well as others in Canada. It is a heartfelt book that is raw and can give us a better perspective of all sides.
This concept really resonated with me, where a simple bracelet could serve as a great reminder.
At a later date, I met with Gina, and together we created a photography campaign, called “Be Your Own Hero”. It would be a photography session to help raise funds for her cause. It also gave me the opportunity to be creative, and where children, adults, and families, dressed up in caps, masks, pettiskirts, armbands, and crazy superhero socks, that I provided. Each person would create their own hero and list their way of how to stand up as a positive force, in a negative environment.
Here is a fact – Bullying happens to someone in Canada every 7 minutes on the playground, and just think of how often it could happen in a workplace, and in other environments, as it comes in a variety of forms.
Can you see the inside damage?
I had a good friend Sharon, that had a heart transplant. At times, she would use an electric motorized cart when shopping in a store. Some people would be judgemental, and make rude comments to her, while she was using this cart, and commented that she was too healthy and should be saving the cart for others that really needed it. Just like this guy above, running to high school classes wipes out his energy, as he has a congenital heart defect. With a heart defect, it isn’t as noticeable on the outside of the clothes, and no one can tell of the battles that he has physically inside.
Like he’s saying, “Can you see what’s happening inside?”.. when we treat others unkindly, it can hurt inner confidences, just like the children’s rhyme, of “sticks and stones, will break my bones, but words shall never hurt me.”. but, those words, really do, they have life long consequences. If one reflects on the many suicides and violence that have occurred, I’m sure it could be traced back to a time when children were bullied.
Henry B Eyring said, “When you meet someone, treat them as if they were in serious trouble, and you will be right more than half the time.” if we take Roger Dawson’s advice, “Treat everyone you meet as though they are the most important person you’ll meet today”, just think of the difference we can make one on one, and on the sidelines! We can make a difference in every person we meet!
Books to teach children
One of my favorite books to teach how our actions affect others is, “Have you Filled a Bucket Today?” We all play a part in building others’ self esteems through our actions and the words we speak to each other. It works great as an object lesson, with a bucket and real water. We all have a role to play, may we each step up and make a difference.