Sitting Alone at Lunch: Sit With Us App Helps Kids Find a Seat
It’s back to school time and your kids aren’t the only ones with the first day jitters. It’s natural for parents to worry that their kids might not make friends easily, lack social support, become victims of bullying, or even worry about sitting alone at lunch.
We can educate them about bullying but it’s impossible to make sure they’re finding community at school. Luckily, there’s a new app called Sit With Us that promotes kindness and inclusion by empowering kids to find and make new friends during their lunch hour.
Created by Natalie Hampton, a high schooler and anti-bullying activist, the app creates a safe space for kids to make friends by finding classmates with similar interests. Kids log in, create a profile, and sign a pledge that says they’ll participate in “open lunches” — a chance for other kids to join their lunch table at a particular time. Users of the app can see active open lunches as they’re happening during the lunch hour and jump in so they’ll never have to sit alone in the cafeteria.
Sitting Alone at Lunch: Talking to your child about the app
In her TedxTeen Talk, Natalie Hampton talks about her personal experience of having been bullied and how she turned it into a way to give back. She says her life was saved when someone stopped her in the hall to ask if she needed help finding her classroom in her new school. Having been the victim of extreme physical and emotional bullying at her previous school, Hampton felt seen for the first time. The big takeaway from her talk is that “all it takes is one person to change the world. And that person can be you with a simple act of kindness.”
Talking about this app with your child can be a great way to start a conversation around bullying. Sharing the app creator’s story can inspire kids to reach out to their peers who might feel isolated or alone. It can also be a good way to bring up the concept of upstanders vs. bystanders in terms of bullying.
Since bullying happens as much online as offline, parents can monitor their children’s social media, email, and text messages with Bark to get alerts when issues like cyberbullying, depression, and other problems arise. SitWithUs help kids not worry about sitting alone at lunch, and Bark keeps kids safer online while allowing privacy and building trust. It’s a solution that both parents and kids can get behind. Plus, Bark for Schools monitors school-issued networks, accounts, and devices. To find out how to get Bark into your child’s school, check out Bark for Schools.