One day last week, my 3 almost 4-year-old came home telling me “Lola” had called her a jerk when they were laying down to take a nap. Seriously? Seriously? She’s three! So many emotions were going through my mind but the first few were heartbreak, anger, and protection mode. I let Chloe explain it to me as best as her little brain could so I could help her make sense of what happen and I did my best to stay calm especially since it occurred at a place where she was supposed to be safe; her school!
My sweet innocent Chloe preceded to ask me if she was in fact, a “jerk” and what that meant. Being bullied on and off, myself, most of Elementery, Jr. High and High School School (but that is a whole nother series of posts I can write for yall) nothing made me madder than I was at that very moment. My heart broke in a million pieces that she was exposed to hurtful words and feelings that did not make her feel good.
We spent several minutes as a family talking about several reasons why “Lola” might have called her a Jerk. Maybe she has older siblings or parents that speak to her or each other in this way. Maybe she is allowed to watch TV or internet programs that use this word. Perhaps she doesn’t even really know (I am sure this is the case) what this word really means or its implications.
We talked about what Jesus would have done and did do when he was called names and ridiculed. (Ephesians 4:29-30-Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.)
Lastly, we equipped her with what she needed to do the next time she was called a name by a friend or schoolmate. By the end of the conversation, she was laughing and kidding around and knew without a benefit of a doubt she was not a “jerk.” She knows “Lola” is not a Jerk and probably just needs a friend or was having a bad day, hopefully.
Unfortunately, I know she will encounter real “jerks” throughout her journey in life and school and it is my job to give her the tools that she needs to deal with them emotionally on the surface and internally and I intend to do that with every grain of my being. That is our job as Moms, to project not only our kids physical well-being, but also their precious precious souls and hearts. I plan to write a series of posts that deals specifically as to what these tools are and the best way to teach our kids what they need to know!
Now, ask me am I still mad about it…yes, the child inside of me is! : )
Until next time, keep up the juggle!
Here are some great books I suggest about the topic!