Where never is heard, a discouraging word
It has to come, I guess. The day a peer says something mean. Why does it always seem to be the girls?? I was surprised though because it wasn’t my kid coming to me to say, “Johnny called me a name.” or whatever. I was privy to the conversation between two girls from my daughter’s Spanish class as they talked while preparing to leave for the day. Girl 1 says to girl 2, “They said you are mean… oh, but I don’t think so. That’s just what they said.”
I have no good words to describe the look on girl 2’s face. It was a combination of shock, sadness, anger, hurt, and a glimmer of just wanting to flee.
I took it as an opportunity to “practice” what I planned to tell my kids when this day came for them. I’ve never bought the “sticks and stones” theory. So I tried something else. I told both of the girls that just because someone says something, that doesn’t make it true and they do NOT have to choose to give it even a second thought.
I asked the girls what they would say if someone told them that the sky was purple. They looked at me confused so I offered that they might think that the person was just wrong and that the whole idea was silly.
I wanted them to see the word “mean” as wrong and just plain silly. Please, please, please girls, don’t give it a second thought because it is as wrong as saying the sky is always purple.
If you know something is just plain wrong, you don’t have to let it in. Water off a duck and all that. I hope girl 2 lets it go and isn’t bothered and I hope my kids will let it go when it is their turn. It is hard though. I think I prefer the “if you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” plan.