Obviously MARvelous: The Perfect (& True) MLK Day Post!
In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. Martin Luther King Jr.
I teach my children many things. As good parents, that’s our job right? Something I stress quite often to my kids is tolerance and respect. They were, and continue to be, taught that everyone is different. My children might still be pretty young, but they already know people are different colors, shapes, sizes, and dress/act differently. More importantly, they know it doesn’t matter.
After reading an article in People Magazine while at the salon about the
18yr old who committed suicide after his Rutgers University roommate video taped him with another man
, I was very disturbed. The article also featured many small stories of children, some as young as 11 and 12, who killed themselves after being bullied. When I arrived home I again had a casual chat with my kids about how it is NEVER alright to make fun of anyone for ANY reason. Even if it’s something small, like the way they walk or talk. I also explained that it is NEVER acceptable for anyone to make fun of them, and if this happens, to immediately tell a teacher and us, so it can be taken care of.
Time passed and last week Makenna brought up the fact that she started to play with a little boy in her class, KeyJuan, who lives in our neighborhood. She explained he has no friends and that she decided to play with him to make him happy. I told her how wonderful that was and she said she had a nice time at school with him and he was nice. I thought about this for a bit throughout the day, but didn’t bring it up again.
The next day on the way to school Makenna announced she would be playing with KeyJuan at school again that day. I said that was great and asked if he really had no other friends. She explained he had no friends at all and all the kids called him “Germy”! I asked her why in the world they’d be so mean and she said because he has things on his arms. I am not sure if she is referring to scars, freckles, moles, or a skin condition, but she quickly added I’m not sure why his skin matters to the kids anyway mommy, I suppose they aren’t very good people if they would be mean to someone just because of that. I immediately got teary eyed that my 6 year old has realized and grasped what I stress so often. I was beaming through my tears with pride!
That was Friday morning. Upon picking Makenna up I asked if she had played w/ KeyJuan that day and she said they’d played Hopscotch. She then went on to say some kids had asked her why she was playing with him. That was more than enough for me. Tuesday afternoon, when I see their teacher during pickup, this issue will be addressed, for both Makenna and KeyJuan. If I hear of anything further after that, I will go to KeyJuan’s mother (they live in our neighborhood remember) and the principal. The school might have a no tolerance for bullying, but I certainly have an even lower tolerance!
In all, I am so touched and inspired that my young daughter has figured out at 6, what many people never do, that people are people, regardless.