*WARNING* a big fat mommy rant is coming up! Enter at your own risk!
Big T is my first born baby. So as a baby he got all of those first time mommy worries. I’ve come to realize that those first time worries stick around. Now I know he isn’t a baby anymore but he is the first of my children going through all the “firsts” of his life. First child to crawl, walk, and run. First child to go through that oh so lovely experience of potty training. Big T was the first child to cut teeth and then first to lose them. He is the first child to go off to preschool, then kindergarten, and now elementary school. And here we are as his parents right along side of him experiencing our firsts on how to parent him through all these wonderments.
Sadly, I didn’t think that this first would come so soon.
It was a typical evening and Big T was playing around at the dinner table during dinner. This is an ongoing issue with him, dinner just isn’t his thing, but we are working with him to teach him about having good table manners and not taking over an hour to eat his meal, playing with his foot, etc. All of a sudden he started calling himself a loser because he felt he couldn’t do anything right. My mommy senses were peaked and seeing that we don’t use that kind of language in our home I knew he heard it from someone else. I thought maybe that he had heard it at school a few months back on the playground and was repeating what he heard (which he does on occasion when he doesn’t understand something so we can help explain it to him). *sigh* I only wish that was the case this time. When I asked him where he heard such a thing he told me that his “friend” at school was repeatedly calling him a loser. I had to use every bit of strength I had to keep my jaw from hitting the floor, and then grabbing my keys, going over to said “friend’s” house,
grabbing that kid, molding him into a ball and bounce him from knee to knee before kicking him as if it was the Superbowl and the winning point would be this one single field goal and having a lovely little chat with him and his mother. This is what I would have said:
Big T is not a loser. If you must know he has been a winner since before he was born.
He stuck around when I had a bleed in my uterus at 7 weeks
He spoke his first word at 6 months
He has a photographic and phonographic memory
He has a kind and loving heart
He has a laugh that will make you burst out into laughter whenever you hear it
He CARES about others and their feelings
He has a generous heart and is always willing to help others in his class (a direct quote from his teacher…thank you very much)
He is a great big brother who loves and helps out with his siblings
He loves to learn new things and is extremely intelligent
He is a sensitive boy who just wants to make people happy
Finally, Big T decided to befriend your son because he noticed he didn’t have very many. Turns out to have been a mistake, but mistakes don’t create losers’. Not learning from them and continuing to do them, does. Therefore, when Big T sees your child on the playground he will be kind, but he will not be his friend, nor will he pay attention to any negative comments he makes. He will know that your son is flat out WRONG! All of these and so very much more are perfect examples as to why my son is not a loser. I suggest that you have a good long talk with your son about what makes a good friend, because apparently he doesn’t have a clue. A little deep thinking as to why your child feels the need to do these things to feel better about himself wouldn’t hurt either.
Back to reality, because as adults, we don’t always get to react the way we want to…
I understand kids are cruel. I’ve experienced it first hand…who hasn’t at one point or another in their childhood? I know it is a right of passage through childhood. But to be the parent of the child who is receiving the cruel comments… is just flat out HARD! When your child listens to a little twerp on the school playground more then he listens to his parents, you feel helpless. Well, irate and helpless, which quite frankly is not a good combination. All you want to do is go over and thump the little minion who stooped so low to call your child a name and did it so often that your child actually started to believe it about himself. But what kind of example would that set? Frankly, I don’t care! But I have to. I have to be the grown-up, the mother, the voice of reason. You spend the better part of 6-7 years making sure that your child has a good sense of self, and confidence to face these things. But the words from a 7 year old unhappy, undisciplined boy still creeps into your child’s head and make them believe whatever they are saying.
All I keep telling him is that he is unequivocally not a loser. That the boy was wrong, and that friends just don’t say those things to friends. That he needs to know within himself that he is a good, kind and smart person. My sweet Big T, how I wish I could shelter you from all the negativity in the world, but all I can do is arm you with knowledge, confidence, kindness, and the security of knowing that your parents will always be there for you.
As for this “friend,” watch out, because mama bear is on red alert!
How do you handle playground meanies?