Oil of Cloves Day

Oil of Cloves Day – March 23rd  

  I’m hoping you will support a province wide day of protest against toothaches and dental pain in general. It is time people knew that we parents will no longer put up with the unnecessary pain caused by this scourge, which runs rampant in dental offices across the province. It’s time dentists stopped sweeping tooth pain under the rubber dam.  We, as parents, need to take a stand against this unnecessary pain inflicted on our children and insist that dentists take action, instead of ignoring the situation. 

On Oil of Cloves Day, March 23rd, thousands of British Columbian parents will take oil of cloves to our child’s dental offices on and splash it around our mouths and on the reception desks, as a statement of solidarity with those forced to suffer toothaches and dental pain.  

My son came home from the dentist office one day with a toothache. He said he had told the dentist about it and nothing was done. When I went to the dentist to demand action, all he did was mumble something about “temporary sensitivity to heat and cold” as he walked away to another patient. It is clear to me that we parents have to stand up and say no to dental pain.

To dovetail with this campaign, I’ve devised a simple survey instrument, the data from which I will (with the analytical help of a right wing think tank), use to rate overall dentist effectiveness.  With these data, patients can see at a glance who the good and bad dentists are and be more informed when choosing a dentist. The survey will help us identify ineffective dentists, many of whom have been ignoring the toothaches of their patients for years.

I’m going to be on a radio open line show so that Simi Sara and her listeners can share horror stories about how their sons and daughters have had dental pain and how their dentists all ignore it. Clearly, dentists don’t understand the problem and won’t do anything about it. It is up to us as parents, to use all the expertise we have about tooth decay and dental health, to fight toothaches on behalf of our children. (to whom we constantly feed high sugar snacks and coca cola)

Like you, I have had several toothaches in my day and one would think that anyone who has experienced a toothache would want to be a part of a movement to just say no to toothaches and dental pain. 

On March 23rd, help fight dental pain by participating in Oil of Cloves Day.

Register now and get your mauve T-shirt with “ No More Ouch” embossed on a big molar.

Support Oil of Cloves Day.



Sound silly? It is. But it’s no sillier than those who push  Anti – Bullying Days.

As a retired Principal, I know there is nothing so painful as the emotional wounds suffered by tweeners at the hands of insensitive louts in Middle School


But to suggest that educators ignore bullying is as silly as saying that dentists ignore tooth decay.

A dentist’s mission is to facilitate the overall healthy development of teeth and gums. It’s what they do. The fact that kids swill sugary drinks or eat poorly is beyond their control. The fact that despite their efforts, tooth decay still exists is not because dentists aren’t vigilant; dentists treat tooth decay, they don’t ignore it. 

Similarly a primary  mission of educators is to facilitate the social and emotional growth of young people. It’s what they do. The fact that despite their efforts, kids are sometimes unkind to each other is not because teachers ignore bullying. Teachers work with victims and bullies, they don’t ignore bullying.

The mission of teachers is to help children learn to work together, to be good citizens, to accept the differences between people, and to solve problems in a peaceful way. 

Bullying is almost always an interactive process, not a discreet event. It involves two victims, the bully and the bullied. The bully often needs as much help as does the bullied. Both bully and victim have seen someone in their close family or peer group role modeling victim/ bully behavior for them.

It is not as simple as getting tough with bullies. Getting tough with bullies only makes them bully more when we’re not looking. They are bullies because someone has taught them the behavior, and it’s seldom the teacher.

Bullying bullies by “getting tough with them” only mimics their bullying behavior.  “Zero tolerance” for bullying is not useful. Calls to “kick ’em out of school” are not helpful. “Bullying stops here” – the rallying cry for Pink Shirt Day is neither instructive nor effective. Bullying bullies is a simplistic, blunt, ineffective response. 

Most assertions that “schools do nothing” about children being bullied are based on disappointment that schools didn’t take sides to help a child “win” a bullying incident.

“My daughter was crying when she came home from school and I want the person who made her cry to be punished, or to have to apologize in front of the whole school, or to never be allowed out of the classroom at noon hour….” 

Taking the side of a child and fighting their fight for them helps neither the bully nor the bullied. By the way, the prototypical bully, with square build and sneer, who swaggers down the school hallway demanding the lunch money of everyone he sees, is not at all prevalent in most schools.

But make no mistake, the social and emotional bamboo shoots kids face hurt much more than being pushed down or bumped in the hallway.

Most bullying by children is emotional not physical. Excluding someone from a group; ridiculing a physical, behavioral or cultural trait; the removing of social status by a queen bee or bees; electronic gossip and cyber bullying. These are the currency of today’s bullies. 

Immature, inexperienced tweeners strive for acceptance and status in immature and cruel ways, learned from home, sibling, or peer. Similarly, immature, inexperienced tweeners respond to clumsy cruelty with emotional, sometimes melodramatic crys for emotional vindication.

Parents need to respond with empathy, calmness, and reassurance. Outrage is misplaced. The temptation to “fix it” for them is unhelpful. Fix it for them once and you will have to fix it for them again. More importantly, they won’t learn to fix it for themselves.

The school’s settling it is much better than mommy or daddy fixing it; your child is facing it with the world not you; that’s important. You can and should be involved all the way, but angry and demanding behaviour towards the school in front of your child doesn’t ever help the situation or your child.

After initial empathy and reassurance, there is lots of time for behind the scenes investigation of the situation past what our hysterical child swears happened – there’s often a big difference.

Supporting a child’s demands to stay home from school for days, change schools or teachers, is unwise. One or more of these things may ultimately happen, but it isn’t wise to accept such radical solutions easily – it’s neither a good precedent for your child nor will it assure no recurrence.

The assumption to take is that this is something that will seem better tomorrow. A discussion about what she might do tomorrow at school reinforces the idea that normal routines will continue; there’s time to adjust this depending on the seriousness of her situation, but decisions or promises shouldn’t be made in the heat of the moment, when you haven’t got all the information you need.  

The idea that combating bullying is an idea that needs only airing and support for the bullied is disrespectful to educators. The idea that parents know more about bullying than do people who work with thousands of young people over many years, shows the general disdain for educators that recent governments have encouraged.

Bullying is rampant in our society – much more so in fact than it is in our schools. Our schools teach cooperation, teamwork, acceptance and tolerance of others. The world teaches a different lesson. The autocratic boss, the un-skilled parent, wrestlers, boxers, and Judge Judy – all teach that bullying is not only acceptable, but necessary to success.

Winning at bullying is what’s important in the real world. The tough businessman is revered, as is the hockey bully, the autocratic parent, the tough coach, and on “Survivor” – the best, most dishonest and clever bully wins a million dollars. 

The only thing for which U.S. President Barak Obama is universally respected is killing Osama Bin Laden – the ultimate in bullying.

We are constantly taught that being an effective bully in the real world is a good thing.

At the same time, we complain that educators are unable to or refuse to, immediately undue all the bad lessons taught them by parents and society.  

Our teachers need support in their efforts to mitigate both bullying and victim syndromes. We need to recognize that bullying is a societal and a parental difficulty, not something spawned in schools and ignored by teachers.

 To proclaim “anti bullying day” as a method of helping educators understand something that they, up until now haven’t understood or recognized is disrespectful and counter productive.

People should be wearing pink to their workplace, to hockey arenas, to malls, to 7-11 stores, to their own homes, to church, not to their schools. Schools are the only places where bullying is actually being dealt with on an ongoing basis.

Wearing pink to school on “anti – bullying day”? I’m sure the organizers would claim to be supporting educators – they’re not. 

We shouldn’t be encouraging this kind of clumsy and unhelpful response to a real problem that we should all help to address, at home, in workplaces, in popular culture as well as in schools.

I will not be wearing pink on Pin Shirt Day


Oh, and support “Oil of Cloves Day”, March 23rd!




About jimnelson806

Educational consultant from Port Moody. "The Stuff Isn't What's Important" " School Wide Discipline Programmes Don't Work" " Vice Principals are crucial towards setting direction"
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