That’s what my eldest daughter told my wife as they drove home from Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Talk about throwing up some flags!
“Let’s talk about it a little,” said my wife. “What happens to you is super important to me. What happened at school?”
“Well,” said my eldest, “I offered to help someone with their glue stick and they didn’t want my help and they called me a name.”
To my knowledge, this is the first time that anyone has called one of my kids a name (other than adorable, wonderful, or amazing). Now, having personally experienced my daughter’s version of offering help in the past, I can understand that other kids may be hesitant to accept her help. But there is no excuse for name-calling, whether it involves me daughter or not. Calling someone names is mean, plain and simple.
“Do you remember what the other kid called you?”
“No, it was a word I don’t know. I think it was a naughty word.”
“Why do you think that?” asked my wife.
“Because I heard it with my ears and it sounded like a naughty word.”
“Have you ever heard mommy or daddy say it?”
“I don’t think so.”
Hmm. Did my daughter get sworn at?
“Did your teacher hear it or say anything?”
“I don’t know,” said my daughter. “I think she heard it, but she didn’t say anything.”
“Maybe it was just a word that you didn’t know. Maybe it wasn’t a naughty word.”
“Maybe my teacher didn’t hear it,” suggested my daughter.
As I’m listening to my wife tell me this story, my blood is moving a bit faster. I’m starting to think of mean words for the kid who used mean words against my girl, which is entirely unhelpful and would set the wrong precedent.
“So what did you do when the kid called you a name?” asked my wife.
“I said, ‘No Thank You!’ and walked away,” said my daughter.
Wow. She did good. She probably did better than I would have in a similar situation. Nice job, kid. I’m proud of you.