I sit here with tears in my eyes. Why, you ask? I'll tell you why.... I just had to explain to my son what a retard is and why a bunch of kids were bullying him and calling him a stupid retard on the toy at McDonald's. He was playing, sometimes with someone, but mostly alone, hurting nobody at all. I hear him yell stop it and look up. There were 6 or 7 kids surrounding him, not letting him go down the slide, or back down the climbing thing. They finally move and he comes down and sits for a minute. He tells me he is ok when I ask so I let it go and just keep an eye on him. A few minutes later I hear him yell again for someone to shut up. I look up and can't see him so I grab Reilly and go look. A lady comes up to me and asks if the kid in the perry the platypus shirt is my son and tells me that he is yelling at her son and tried to hit him. I finally locate him and hear her son and the same 6 or 7 kids surrounding him, keeping him from going anywhere laughing at him and calling him a stupid retard. Yes, my son was swinging and yelling for them to shut up. I turned to her and asked if THAT was HER son, she said "yeah, the one your kid is swinging at" then she had the audacity to ask me what was wrong with my kid. I turned to her and said, the only thing wrong with my son is that your son is bullying him and calling him a stupid retard, which I am assuming he learned from you. She called me a bitch, I told Boyd to push his way down so we could leave.
So here we sit after having a discussion about compassion that he didn't really understand.
It is a parents job to be a role model for proper behavior to their children. They learn from you. It doesn't matter whether you are talking bad about someone because of their skin color, their orientation, the way they look or their mental capacity, your kid is a sponge. They pick things up. You call they person walking down the street a retard, your child calls some other kid a retard, they grow up and teach their child to call someone who is different a retard. Eventually there will be no compassion left. Teach your child that different doesn't mean bad. Teach them that love is love. Teach them to get to know the person underneath. Just because a kid runs around the playground by himself pretending to be an x-wing fighter doesn't mean he is not worth the 5 minutes it takes to say hi and ask how they are doing? Just because they sit on the floor in the corner rocking back and forth with hands over their ears doesn't mean they are a retard. Maybe they are scared and overwhelmed. Teach your children to treat others the way they would like to be treated. As an adult, if you see a mom struggling every day to get her child into school, don't roll your eyes and make a judgement that she must be a horrible mother. You don't know what goes on in her home. You don't know what she is dealing with. If she was a horrible mother, she wouldn't try so hard to get him to school.
I am not saying I am perfect, I'm not. I've been known to make snap judgements. Keep trying to get better. That is all I ask. Try to raise compassionate children. If you see your child being a bully and using hateful language, tell them they are wrong, and why they are wrong. It's not ok that I had to explain to my child what a retard is and why your kid was saying that to him. Not okay at all. How would you feel if it was YOUR child? How would you feel if your child was in the middle of a bunch of kids being taunted and not allowed to leave? Think about that next time you hear your kid call another kid a name. I have told Boyd since he was little that everyone is different and if everyone was the same, the world would be boring. I've also told him not to say something to someone that you wouldn't want said you to. Even if he doesn't understand all the time it is still important to tell him.
Nobody should be punished for being different..... ever.