Thursday, March 8, 2012
Sticks and Stones...
My seven and nine year old had their first lesson in virality and how, once you put it out there, there’s no taking it back. I’m sure the seven year old didn’t intend to be mean- this is the comedian who often speaks before he thinks- but his hurtful and inaccurate words about his brother “playing with baby toys” were blurted out in an effort to get laughs...and spread like wildfire. (Note to self: another thing to add to the list of why being a mom makes me a better person- MEAN IS NOT FUNNY).
Anyway, the three of us had a long discussion about being careful about we say about others, being family and sticking together, and the importance of talking in truths. The reality is, the babies (who are now 3 ½ and not really babies) like all the toys their big brothers play with, so it’s not fair to say that his brother plays with baby toys just because they play together. And, for the record, the seven year old plays with them too. They are learning the hard way that things like this can’t be undone. And, unfortunately, it’s a lifelong lesson they may have to learn more than once.
But this whole situation got me thinking...if it weren’t my other son (and his brother) that started this “rumor”, knowing my nine year old is feeling ostracized, would I have taken a different course of action? Would I be expressing my concerns to the principal about the kid who is bullying my child? I think I would have...which is a reality check as far as I’m concerned.
While I do believe that bullying is a real problem, I think our kids are SO aware of it that they lose their ability to confront issues and problem solve, and label any mean thing another kid does as being “bullied”. We’ve made our kids hyper-sensitive, when, really, kids can just be mean. Period. I, for one, think that the sooner my kids realize and understand the difference between a real bully and a bad decision, the better off they will be. I didn’t “get it” until I was out of high school, but some people never “get it”. Best they learn now, don’t you think?