Category Archives: Think

Get Solar Energy Without Solar Panels

Power your home with solar energy--even if you don't have solar panels. Here's how to switch in just sixty seconds.

Back in April, I participated in the March for Science here in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is a city that has seen the very real and harsh effects of being irresponsible stewards of our environment. Our mills–which built Carnegie’s wealth and later his repentant philanthropic legacy–almost destroyed our region.

A mixture of EPA regulations and globalization leading to the weakening of labor unions eventually shut down our mills, and the city did a 180.

Today our city is gorgeous. It’s green. It’s lush. We have rivers and mountains and some of the best skyline viewing points in the world. Our two greatest sources of GDP are healthcare and education, we’re a growing tech hub, and there are free, family-friendly events all the time.

But we bear the scars of our history. Our air quality is among the worst in the nation, causing endemic childhood asthma. Our soil contains lead. In a coincidence void of correlation, many city residents’ water now contains lead, too.

Making the Environment Personal

Our environment is changing. We are causing that change in a very real and negative way. It is possible that during my children’s lifetimes, they will face daily challenges far more intimidating than setting up automatic transfers and credit card debt.

This has been important to me for a while. We’ve made small changes. We’ve tried (and failed) to cut down on how many vehicles we use.

But ultimately, it’s hard to feel like anything you do matters when the problem is so massive and systemic.

An Introduction to Green Energy

We don’t own, so I had pretty much given up on green energy in our home.

But at the March for Science, there were booths and vendors everywhere. One of those vendors was a “green energy company.” They generate green energy, and then sell it to the main utility who delivers it. Here in Pennsylvania, we have a choice of who generates our energy, but I didn’t know you could go green with it for a comparable price.

The guy started talking me up, and wanted me to sign up before I left. He was afraid I wouldn’t do it after I went home.

In a way he was right. It’s five months later and I’m only just now writing this post.

But he also wanted me to commit with limited information. I started asking him hard questions like where, exactly, was the energy was produced? How long was a fixed rate contract good for, and what did the rates go up to after our initial agreement expired? Did they offer assistance programs to low-income families like the main electric provider does?

He tried to get me away from the booth at this point. I was seriously bummed, because I did want green energy, but these people were obviously shady as all get out.

How to Get Solar Energy Without Solar Panels

I came home and started doing some research. It turns out, I was right to question the man at that booth. They used the term “green energy” for a variety of different energy sources, including dirty–or “recycled”–energy they had bought off of other companies.

I discovered there are quite a few companies touting their green-ness, but very few of them made me feel good about making the switch. If I was going to pay a few cents more per kilowatt hour, I wanted to know I was actually saving the planet.

When you switch to green energy, it’s not like you start getting different electricity in your home than your neighbors. Electricity is made up of electrons, and those electrons are bought by the company that delivers your energy. At this point, the energy is homogeneous–regardless of where it was generated.

There are laws in place requiring the utility provider to purchase a certain amount of energy from green sources. They do this through Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs.) If more customers start demanding more green energy, it is possible that utilities will start purchasing more RECs than legally required.

This is a good thing, as it moves us away from environment-destroying energy sources and onto more sustainable ones.

As a consumer, you don’t necessarily have to have solar panels to get solar energy. You just need to pick a green company to generate your electricity, encouraging demand and therefore growth in the sector.

At the Pittsburgh March for Science, I was offered a deal from a shady green energy company.

Questions to Ask Before Switching to Green Energy

I asked a lot of companies questions, and in the end I was most satisfied with the answers from CleanChoice Energy. They’re not just in Pittsburgh! They currently service a lot of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states–plus Illinois and DC.

Our new rate is going to be 2 cents more per kilowatt hour, which raises our bill by $12-$14 per month. The slight increase is something I’m willing to prioritize in my budget.

You can check and see if they serve your zip code. Right now they’re running a promo where they’ll give you a WakaWaka Power+ Solar Charger for your phone and devices when you sign up.

Here are the questions I asked them, and the answers they gave.

Does all of your energy come from solar and/or wind farms?

Do you use “recycled” energy stored from nuclear, natural gas or any carbon-emitting sources?

“One hundred percent of our energy comes from wind and solar farms,” said Kate Colarulli, CleanChoice Energy’s Director of Retention Marketing. “Our Standard Clean Plan is Green-e certified and meets the environmental and consumer protection standards of the Center for Resource Solutions.”

“We meet or exceed all EPA guidelines for renewable energy,” she continued, “and we apply strict standards to ensure that we source our energy from as close to our customers as possible. If you burn it, we don’t supply it.”

CleanChoice Energy was the only company in my region that gave me such a clear and straightforward answer.

How long is a contract? Do you offer fixed rates?

Colarulli told me that you can choose between fixed and variable rates. I recommend the former, personally, as you’ll know what to expect out of your electric bill month after month.

The fixed-rate plans came with a contract. Your rate stays fixed for that entire term. Our contract offer was twelve months. You can, conceivably, switch between fixed and variable rates as there is no fee for doing so, but that’s a lot to keep on top of every month.

CleanChoice contacts you before your renewal date with the new rate offer for the next twelve months. I’ll be interested to see what happens at that point, and will update you all on any pricing changes. The worst-case scenario is we switch back to the standard utility if we hit a huge price hike, but I don’t anticipate having to do that.

Do you participate in CAP, LIHEAP or any other low-income programs?

CAP is a low-income assistance program. Funds are used to pay a part of your electricity bill if you fall below a certain income threshold.

LIHEAP is a program that assists low-income households with their heating bills in the winter. If, like us, your heat is run through electric, they can help with your electric bill instead.

This was the most frustrating part for me. I couldn’t find a single company that participated in these programs. We’re not on either of these programs at this time, but if you’re trying to save the world, wouldn’t you want to make solar and wind energy available to low-income households, as well?

I found out that it’s a little more complicated than that. Colarulli was the only one who took the time to explain that while they can participate in some states, they cannot participate in others. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is not one of those states.

Switching to Green Energy is Easy

After I had done all the research, I was surprised at just how simple it was to switch. It took me literally one minute.

First, I entered my zip code.

Then, they asked for the name, service address and customer number.

I gave it to them, and I was done.

I’ll let you all know how this foray turns out. I’m feeling pretty psyched about it right now, though, as it enables us to do solar without the panels, and gives us more control over our carbon footprint.

If we all took one minute to make a simple switch, essentially pledging $10-$20 per month to save the planet, maybe we could actually make a noticeable impact. Lord knows we need to.

 

 

#WomensEqualityDay: Where We’ve Been & Need to Go

Wow--I never thought about some of these facts and numbers around women, equality and economics. Incredibly interesting!

Tomorrow is Women’s Equality Day–a day on which we celebrate the passing of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

However, women’s suffragist movements were not as valiant in their moral victories as we like to remember. The movement rode on the coat tails of the Abolitionist movement, while also using white supremacy as the reason white women needed the right to vote.

The argument was if black men were given the right to vote, they’d have more power than white women, and that was unacceptable. White women needed to be given more power to cancel out the political power of black men.

Oppression is complicated and seriously messed up.

While the 19th amendment didn’t exclude black women explicitly–that would have violated the 15th amendment–there were measures put in place to suppress votes of all people of color. These measures were extremely successful, and to some extent, still exist to this day via voter ID laws.

We shouldn’t still have this problem, because in 1965 the Voting Rights Act passed, giving the Federal government the authority to put their foot down when it came to voting suppression. This is effectively when most women of color were able to actually vote.

Paying Attention to Things That Don’t Affect Us

Just because you don’t personally experience sexism, racism, classism, ableism, ethnocentrism, heteronormative bias, or any other type of oppression doesn’t mean those things don’t exist. And we, as a society, can’t effectively combat them until we recognize that they do–and that they wreak very real harm on our fellow citizens.

Have we gotten better about these things?

Until a few weeks ago I would have said yes.

Even if we had, does that mean we should stop where we are because it’s comparatively better than what it has been in the past?

No. Because it’s still bad.

Today, we’ll be looking at women’s equality through the lens of personal economics.

The Wage Gap. It Exists.

The most recent data on the wage gap is probably most effectively measured when compared to white, non-Hispanic men. This is not because white, non-Hispanic men are inherently evil as individuals, but rather because as a group, they are the most highly compensated demographic.

  • White, non-Hispanic women make 75% of what white, non-Hispanic males make.
  • Black women make 63% of what white, non-Hispanic males make.
  • Hispanic and Latina women make 54% of what white, non-Hispanic males make.
  • Asian women make 85% of what white, non-Hispanic males make.
  • Pacific Islander women make 60% of what white, non-Hispanic males make.
  • American Indian and Alaska Native women make 58% of what white, non-Hispanic males make.
  • Trans women face a 12% pay decrease after transitioning.

But women choose lower paying fields.

Yes. Career choice does contribute to a portion of the gap–though not all of it.

We need to look a little bit deeper than that, though. Why does society value an accountant over those educating the leaders of tomorrow? Lawyers above nurses?

Read this: Should Teachers Ever Make Six Figures?

We don’t want to confront this reality, but women took on many of these roles for a long, long time without receiving any pay. In light of this, it’s not really all that surprising that some of the most important jobs–like daycare workers ensuring the safety and early education of our children–get compensated at rates barely above minimum wage.

Then there’s the question of why women enter these fields. Do we do it because we were trained from a young age that our gender gave us inherent gifts in care-taking fields? Or are there simply more opportunities for women in fields that pay less?

Either way, the answer is problematic.

But women have babies.

Yes, some of us do. But in one way or another, men play a role in making those babies, too. Aside from a brief period of physical recovery for women, there’s no reason men can’t equally contribute to the care and rearing of their children.

In fact, when they contribute to that cause, they are viewed as altruistic.

When women do the same, they are viewed as incapable of meeting their work responsibilities–even if that’s not true.

Also, there’s no correlation between a country’s maternity leave policies and their gender pay gap. Over the years, I’ve seen zero evidence upholding the but-women-carry-children-in-their-womb argument other than, “Our society’s biased and you have to get used it. No one else cares or wants to change it.”

I’m pretty sure that argument is not only problematic, but inherently false.

Women don’t negotiate.

Except we do. When we ask for a raise, we’re 25% more likely to get denied compared to our male counterparts.

Small Businesses

Because women are discriminated against in the realm of pay, we’ve led the largest boom in the entrepreneurial sector over the past ten years. This is in large part due to the entrepreneurial efforts of black women in particular, who face one of the largest pay gaps.

Messages

Our daughters are not as confident in matters of personal finance as our sons. It’s not because we are trying to actively oppress our individual daughters, but it may be because we subconsciously give in to a system of oppression that we have normalized as a part of our culture.

We need to combat these measures by talking to our daughters more, and educating ourselves more about personal finance concepts–even if we’re not marketed to.

I was at a conference last year where my peer pointed out a present online marketer advising against using Pinterest as a platform for advertising investment content–because the platform is dominated by females and women just don’t care about investing.

This is but one example of the culture we’re up against. We have to market to women whom we don’t think care. Not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because women own 40% of all stocks and make 85% of consumer purchasing decisions, which includes financial products.

We’ve got a long way to go.

We have the right to vote, but we have a long way to go before we’re economically equal. As with the suffragist movement, this is especially true for women of color.

Men, take solace in the fact that women’s equality is not about tearing you down or blaming you as an individual. But if we, men and women, want our daughters, mothers, sisters, partners and friends to be equal, we need to work together against the systems of oppression that do indeed exist.

Don’t Wait to Speak Up

The decision to publish today’s post was not made lightly. This is a personal finance blog, and the below has but loose ties to personal finance. Though white supremacy does engender real consequences for the personal finances of millions of people: the economic oppression felt by minorities when one race or culture is named “supreme” over the others—which is real and dramatic as evidenced by our history.

Ultimately, today’s post is presented in keeping with this blog’s theory that thoughts and ideas are a stronger currency than paper money.

You don't have to look too far back in history to see that white supremacy has real and devastating consequences. Don't wait to speak up.

Government-sanctioned white supremacist rallies aren’t something new in the United States. When my husband was growing up in the metropolis of Pittsburgh in the 90s, he ran into them every once in a while as he hopped buses and trains to get to school.

They weren’t exactly the epitome of peaceful, either. Objects were thrown. Threats, both explicit and implied, abounded. All this in a city that I consider to be more than tolerant compared to many others in the US.

But those who were marching in those rallies–in the name of the KKK and unabashed racism–wore hoods. They knew they had to because they were doing something shameful.

What we saw this weekend wasn’t new. If you can pay for a city permit, you can have your voice heard no matter how harmful your words—at least if you’re white and by-and-large adhere to Christian culture.

The Dissipation of Shame

What was different this weekend was that no one felt the need to cover their face. No one felt shame for the hatred they were spewing—the same hatred we, as a nation, fought so hard against with the rest of the world not 100 years ago. The same hatred we are still battling to overcome as we examine our own deeply-ingrained intentional systems of oppression.

The problem has always been here. We are a kyriarchal society who resorted to genocide, slavery and colonialism to build our empire. But in the past few decades, it felt like we were getting better. We were seeing the errors of our ways. We were becoming a more enlightened people. There was pain, and we were far from cured. But we were making forward progress—however slow—in the right direction.

Now we see a pushback. In an election that, like it or not, had questionable enough results to garner an investigation, a minority of the American populace managed to get a majority of Electoral College votes in order to put a man into one of our highest offices whilst he surrounded himself with white supremacists.

Astonishingly, the shame dissipates. The hoods come off.

This is 2017.

You’re Not Alone.

We need to remember that those who would inspire fear, who would incite violence, who would commit an act of terrorism by turning a vehicle into a weapon, who would claim that they are divinely superior over the “others”—other races, other genders, other sexual orientations, other human beings who were born into a different part of the world or into a different economic class—do not constitute majority political opinion in this country.

The hope is that the majority will keep their heads down. That they freeze up and go about their business until the drama starts affecting them directly.

Because the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good (wo)men to do nothing.*

After WWII, we really wanted to know why people went along with Nazism. We had heard the atrocities. We had seen the camps. So we launched psychological studies. They found that as human beings, we’re able to pass the buck pretty easily. Given orders to harm another human being, participants did so with little remorse.

“It’s not my fault. It’s the guy giving the orders!”

We have an uncanny ability to shut our empathy off in favor of self-preservation—even while in a controlled lab.

Never Again

Let’s not let all this happen again. Let’s not fall into a world of anti-intellectualism where falsehoods are touted as facts. Where false moral equivalence at a societal level distorts our own, individual moral compasses. Where we create a society devoid of hope.

Let’s not regress to the same patterns of economic oppression our nation has enforced through policy over the past 241 years.

Let’s do less “othering” and start recognizing that we need each other to get through this messy thing called life. We are facing some of the most challenging times in our nation’s history—and really, some of the most potentially devastating times during human beings’ history on the planet. Let’s rally together to lift each other up and remove each other’s obstacles rather than staunchly placing more in the way.

Unless your power relies on oppressing others, the empowerment of others–who have been historically oppressed–is of no threat to you.

What Can I Do?

I’ve found myself grappling with this question for the past couple of days.

I wasn’t able to come up with many answers on my own, but I did stumble upon this list of action items Sara Benincasa put together. It includes ways to raise money–and your voice–for positive causes that work for unity across experiences rather than division.

 

 

*This quote has never successfully been attributed correctly, though most people would tell you I just riffed off Edmund Burke.

 

UPDATE

Other bloggers have spoken up, too. Please take a minute to read and honor their stories and voices.

Charlottesville by Jana Says

Silent Threats in the Night by Financial Samurai

What’s in a name (and a color?) by Working Optional

Act Like the Person You Want to Be by Optimize Your Life

The World Doesn’t Need Another Post About Decluttering This Week by Cait Flanders

 

My Love/Hate Relationship with Self-Employment

I always thought self-employment was good but she brings up some pretty good counterpoints.

In the past, I’ve worked as a contract employee, but typically it’s always been with the understanding that the work will be full-time and that the contract would be renewed at the end of the year.

This venture into online writing and blogging, though, has been a completely different experience. I find short-term work. I look for more short-term work. I balance multiple clients while still working remotely.

I’m nearly two years into running this business as my sole source of income (though the old day job has turned into an occasional side hustle,) and I’ve got a lot of mixed feelings about it.

A lot of times, when we read about how bloggers go full-time, it feels like they’ve won at something. They can show you how to start your own blog, too! And experience the freedom of not having to go into a stuffy 9-5!

While there are definitely some merits to all that, today I want to get real with you. I want to tell you my personal experiences with both the good and bad sides of self-employment. Will you want to leave your 9-5 at the end?

Maybe.

Maybe not.

What I Love About Self-Employment

I don’t want to be overly morose. There are a lot of good things about this gig, and I’m lucky I had it to fall back on. Here are some of the definite pros.

I write my own hours.

If my kid has therapy or I have to battle an insurance company over their healthcare coverage, getting “off” normal business hours to take care of it is no big deal. At all. I just have to make up the hours during nontraditional hours.

I enjoy the freedom of being able to work when I want and where I want. I can travel without worrying about getting approval for time off, and take a mental health day if I absolutely need it.

As a matter of fact, last week I had a week-long migraine. Sometimes medication was helping. Sometimes it wasn’t. I was a mess, and would have had to use seven sick days if I were working a traditional job.

I don’t know if anyone even offers that many sick days outside of unpaid FMLA leave.

Because I was able to work in the windows of relief, I was still able to meet deadlines and get my stuff done.

I work with who I want.

I have to make money, so I am accountable to clients for freelancing, and to my readers when I choose to take on advertisers.

But if someone’s a jerk, I can shut that relationship down. I can look for other people to pay me money if I don’t want to take theirs.

It’s super liberating to only work with people you think are awesome.

I mostly work in my PJs.

Which is fantastic. When I have to get dressed up in business casual, it’s kind of a big deal. Technology has saved my wardrobe so many dollars by allowing me to work in solace.

I get invited to do cool stuff.

As a blogger, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to do a lot of cool things. Just this year, I’ve taken my child to an awesome LEGO event, tried my hand at skiing in Banff, viewed the Stanley Cup IRL, visited NYC for a dynamic conference on innovation, and have had some cool experiences with the FinCon Pittsburgh group I coordinate.

None of that would have happened if I hadn’t started Femme Frugality all those years ago.

I get to interview cool people.

For this blog and for other publications I write for, I get to interview people who are really, really good at what they do. They’re smart, interesting and actually want to spend time to sit down and talk with me about all those things that make them smart and interesting. I don’t normally like talking on the phone, but doing these interviews is something I truly love about my job.

The Cons of Self-Employment

There are definitely some things I’m not into, though. Or at least, things that I thought would be great, but have downsides, too.

I work by myself in my PJs.

The things that make this job amazing also have their negatives. Sometimes I get lonely, if I’m being completely honest. It’s way harder to maintain a social life as a mom of young kids when I’m not forced to see coworkers or fellow students everyday as a part of my routine.

I know. Co-working spaces. I even know which one I’d go to. But I don’t have to budget it in, so my frugal self has a really hard time legitimizing the expense.

It’s a constant hustle.

I don’t have to work with people I don’t like, but it is a constant hustle to find the people that I do enjoy working with. Before I started this gig, I would have thought this part of the job would be zero problem for me. I’ve always been hypervigilant about my money, and hustling went right along with that.

But at a certain point, you just get burnt out. Not necessarily with the work. But with the constant pitching that’s involved in obtaining  that work.

That’s not just true for the freelance writing side of my business. It’s also true for the blog. While it’s great to have advertisers come to you, sometimes you have to go after that partnership idea that’s been living in your head.

In fact, some of my longest and most profitable relationships have happened this way, and they’ve happened that way because I know what’s good for my readers–what they like and what will actually help them. But in order to give that to you, I have to make others see that they need you, my readers, too.

The work? I love. The constant pitching so you have enough to pay the bills next month? I don’t mind it, but could do with a whole lot less of it.

You never know when you’re going to get paid.

You can set up a contract with penalties for late payment, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get your money in time. It just means you can legally enforce late payments for when the client does finally pay.

In the meantime, get ready to run around like a crazy person figuring out how to get your health insurance premiums paid this month.

No benefits.

Any benefit you used to get from an employer is at least two times as expensive–and you have to pay for it all yourself.

The same can be applied to taxes.

Without set hours, you’re always on.

I used to work after my kids went to bed. When I first started this blog, that’s the only time I had. When I made this my full-time gig, the hours started driving me mad.

I wasn’t enjoying time with my kids during the day the way I thought I would because I was so stressed out about everything that I still had to do after I tucked them in at night.

Owning your own business is a never-ending to-do list. You’ll literally never have everything checked off. For a Type A person like me, that was a huge adjustment that I really struggled with at first. It’s all about prioritizing and accepting the things that you cannot do, because believe it or not, we don’t all have the same 24 hours in a day.

I’ve mostly figured things out now. I work during the day like a normal person. Nights are reserved for mental relaxation. Sometimes I’ll work weekends if I’ve had a particularly upset schedule Monday through Friday.

But it’s still not the same as going in at 8 and being done at 4. It’s not the same as being able to leave all the mental work baggage at your workplace. Because your business affects financial decisions in every other area of your life.

And you’ve got some pesky ambition to go along with it that will always be pushing you to do more, even when you know you can’t or shouldn’t.

Would I do it again?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy with my business, and I want to keep doing bigger and better things with it. I want to keep helping people in a meaningful way and support my family while I’m at it.

Two years ago, the floor dropped out from under my day job thanks to a regional work shortage in a career I had just finished re-training for. I’m extremely lucky I had this going on.

But I would caution people to look both ways before they dropped everything and quit their stable 9-5 in pursuit of some illusion of perfect freedom to be found in self-employment. The grass is always greener, and we’ve definitely got some brown patches over on this side.

Ella Builds a Wall: Anti-Bullying Book for Kids

Wow, this is a surprisingly deep kids' book that teaches children how to deal with bullies in genius but simple ways.

Today I want to stop and take a second to address something that’s not directly finance related: bullying.

When I was growing up, bullying made you tough, supposedly, though it hardly ever happened to the “tough” kids. With boys it sometimes but not always got physical, while girls for the most part stuck to tearing each other’s souls apart with words.

As time went on, anti-bullying campaigns became a thing. People started advocating for children who went through emotional abuse in schools, in particular. While society definitely didn’t reach perfection, things appeared to be moving in the right direction.

Without delving into the specifics of why, things have shifted culturally and quickly. Bullying is largely touted as a sign of strength. Violence and hate crimes have been on the rise in the US as of late.

This is the world I’m raising my kids in, and it makes me ill. While I hope we can make a speedy U-turn back to progress, and I know I can raise my own children to be kind, charitable and empathetic, I can’t protect them from the entire world. Bullying is something I have to prepare them for.

Ella Builds a Wall

One way I’m choosing to instill good values and resilience in my kids is by making sure there are good morals and role models in the literature they consume.

When teacher and fellow personal finance blogger Ruth McKeague released her book Ella Builds a Wall, I knew it would be one of those books. The important kind. The kind you read again and again, and discuss later in context of real life situations.

Her work did not disappoint. In it, a girl named Ella is getting bullied at school. Frustrated, she joins a karate class, where she thinks she’s going to learn how to kick some butt.

Instead, her instructor teaches her how to control her emotions. She teaches her how to build emotional walls around herself to protect her feelings, and how to use blocks to defend herself if, and only if, someone attacks her physically.

She also learns to not build walls of outward hatred or self-loathing around herself, separating herself from the rest of the playground kids.

Ella’s walls are metaphorical, but insanely important to understand. When she finds herself jealous of a peer, she recognizes and subdues the emotion, leading to a beautiful friendship.

When her bully gets violent with her again, she defends herself until a teacher arrives to witness what is actually happening.

And when the bully, in his punishment, starts building walls of anger around himself, wallowing in his misery, she extends kindness to try to pull them down.

What We Learned

My kids enjoyed learning the karate blocks in the book, but I was impressed with how much they understood the emotional lessons, too. When I asked them about the walls Ella tore down, they told me about the jealousy and anger. They told me about the bully, and the kindness Ella extended to him.

Overall, regardless of which era you’re living in, the takeaways were valuable lessons that many adults still haven’t mastered:

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Mindfulness
  • Self-Worth
  • Kindness
  • Empathy
  • You are allowed to defend yourself in physically threatening situations.
  • You are not only allowed, but should, stand up for others when you see them becoming victims of bullying.

If you want a quick tie-in to money, when you have these skills, you’re more likely to have a larger network of friendly faces in your career. You’re also more likely to negotiate for higher pay when you believe in yourself and feel like self-advocacy is a strength rather than something to be ashamed of.

But mostly, you’ll just be a better person.

Bring Home a Copy of Ella Builds a Wall

If you want to take on this complex subject with your kids, this book makes it simple. I’d highly recommend picking up a copy.

Ruth is Canadian, so the prices are CAD rather than USD, but after you pay for shipping it comes out to around $15-ish USD, anyways.

 

How have you dealt with bullying?

Whether you’ve experienced it yourself or have seen your child experience it, whether it’s happened in the schoolyard or in the workplace, I’d love to hear your experiences with bullying and how you’ve handled it. Leave your thoughts in the comments below!