So my 12 year old son came home from school the other day. He is in 6th grade and rides the bus. I could tell he was sad and, luckily, he is my “one” who will spill the beans. When I asked him what was wrong he burst into tears and told me that one of the kids on the bus called him gay and a homosexual. I was upset enough about that but then he told me the comment came from another boy that our family has known for 5 plus years. He happens to be the older brother of a boy in my son’s grade. Now, many children would take that comment as a joke and blow it off. However, I have taught my boys to never use derogatory comments such as these. These words can have long-lasting negative effects on other kids and are simply unnecessary. Take it from a girl who was tormented for the good part of her 3rd grade school year by girls who would call me names, ignore me, basically make me feel low.
The second I heard the name of the boy who said those words to my son it immediately jogged a memory. This memory involved this boy’s younger brother (the one in my son’s grade) and one of my friend’s sons. My friend’s son got a bit too physical during a recess football game with the bully’s brother. I remember my girlfriend worrying about how she would apologize to this boy’s Mom and if the incident would have a lasting effect on their future interactions.
I am sitting here thinking I could take this in so many directions and never get my point across. Therefore, I will list the morals of my story:
- Your children are not perfect! One specific friend and I discuss this all the time. All you can do is teach them right from wrong, give them a good moral foundation and hope they build on that throughout their childhood. Do you think I told this story because my son never does anything wrong? That is not the case at all.
- Never underestimate the power of an apology. Whether the person you are apologizing to is accepting or not, know you did the right thing.
- Help your children learn from incidents like these. Did I pick the phone up and call this boy’s mother? I thought about it but then felt that it wasn’t egregious enough for such action. Did I give my son permission to fight back with words? You bet I did!!! Children have to learn to defend themselves during these types of situations. Those who know me can attest to my vast vocabulary. Trucker vocabulary that is!!! I don’t want my son using foul language but I also don’t want him to sit back and take ignorant verbal abuse from anyone!