Children model the behaviour of the adults around them, and everyone will be asked to reflect on this fact… literally.
As part of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, Warrnambool East Primary School students have decorated mirrors to be displayed in shopfronts throughout the Warrnambool city centre.
People will then be asked to upload a “mirror selfie” to social media with their own personal message about the impact adult behaviour has on children, or a message about kindness more generally.
This theme will also be explored at the 16 Days of Activism Warrnambool Launch event called “Our Actions, Our Children: Mirror Mirror” to be held online on November 25 from 7pm.
Keynote speaker and founder of preventative mental health organisation On the Low Down David Pearce said that the event would discuss the cyclical nature between our own behaviours and the behaviours of our children, small steps we can all take to model good behaviour, as well as information about local support services.
“The best thing we can do is behave the way we want out kids to behave, and one of the most important skills is learning to listen without trying to fix everything,” he said.
“It’s very well-intentioned to think that you have to solve the problem, but you just need to be there to support one another, simply through listening.
“A lot of us are terrified to share and to listen to someone share because we don’t know what to do. Here’s the thing. You don’t have to do that much. You just have to be there.
“If we can do that as parents, from one adult to the next, then our kids will see that’s the way to behave.”
Mr Pearce said that many people have spent more time with their kids in 2020 than ever, amplifying the effect of the behaviours they are modelling.
“There’s been some great things, like parents baking bread with their kids. Things they wouldn’t usually do or do as often as they have,” he said.
“That being the case, the pressure COVID places on people has been really concentrated in the family environment.
“So with this increased level of intimacy, we have an opportunity to model some really good behaviour for our children.”
Our Actions, Our Children: Mirror Mirror is free to attend. To register and receive the online meeting link visit www.onthelowdown.com.au/online-events
Other activities taking place as part of 16 Days of Activism from November 25 until December 10 include a talk by author and journalist Jane Gilmore on December 3, a t-shirt display at the Lighthouse Theatre and the painting of traffic signal boxes by Brophy Family and Youth Services.
16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence in Warrnambool is a partnership between the Warrnambool City Council, South West Health Care, Warnambool East Primary School, Brophy Family and Youth Services, Emma House and the Western Region Alcohol and Drug Centre (WRAD).