Hello, my name is Precy Larkins. I’m so excited to be part of the Bully Box Brigade!
A little about me: I primarily write Young Adult fiction, though I love all kinds of children’s books, even picture books! I grew up in the Philippines but moved to the US by myself when I was 18. I was going to college. I guess you could say I was very adventurous. And indeed, it was quite an adventure. I met my husband while at school, and now we lived in Utah with our three lovely children.
My short story that’s included in the Tales from the Bully Box anthology is about two Filipino sisters coming to live in America. This is a piece that’s dear to my heart because I know how hard it is to move to a new place and have to start your life all over again–making new friends, learning a new language, tasting new foods, and living in unfamiliar surroundings. It’s also about family and love and standing up for what’s right. I hope that you’ll enjoy my story when the anthology comes out.
My two older kids are in grade school right now. We’re not new to bullying issues–in fact, my first grader has a kid in his class who is being mean to him. Two weeks ago I was gone on a trip, and when I came home, I gave my son a little gift. It was a Tiki keychain from Hawai’i, the kind of thing my son loves to collect. The next day, the kid in his class picked up the keychain and threw it on the ground. It broke in half. My son told the teacher, and the bully eventually said sorry, but the damage was done. It was unnecessary and a spiteful thing to do, but that’s what bullies do. They don’t care about the other person’s feelings, or they act without thinking that their actions are hurtful to others.
Sometimes, they don’t even really know that they’re being bullies to someone.
I offered to talk to this bully to stop him from harassing my son, but my son wanted to handle it on his own. He wanted to be brave, but more importantly, he wanted to be kind and to show this kid that maybe it’s possible for them to be friends. At first, I wasn’t thrilled that my son didn’t want my help, but recently, when he got new glasses to help him see better in class, the bully did not make fun of him. Instead, he said to my son: “Nice glasses!” So maybe it’s working out after all. We’ll see. *crossing fingers*
I always tell my kids to be kind, to be nice, to be strong, to be brave. We’re constantly faced with choices from the moment we wake up to the time we retire for the night. Make those choices count, and make them with kindness in mind. The girl in school who’s not a very good reader? Be kind and don’t make fun of her. The boy who kicked you in the playground during recess? Be kind and don’t kick him back. Instead, find a teacher or an aide who can help you.
If kindness were to rule the world, bullying wouldn’t exist. Alas, we’re not there yet. This kindness thing has to start somewhere. It has to start with you.