Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Is that COOKED bread?

My kids started school on Monday, (I'm not joking!) a full month before they would've started at their former school.  Both of my children are relatively sensitive to what others say to them.  My son, in particular, misunderstands a lot of things that are said to  him.  Sometimes he thinks people are trying to be mean when they simply say, "Hello."  I've worked pretty hard to get him to think about what people are saying and evaluate if they are being mean or if they just don't understand what they are saying is hurtful.  There is a difference!  He's starting to get that in his first grade mind.  

As he shared all the details of his first day, he told me of a little boy at lunch who was mean to him.  My gut reaction was to believe him, that this twirp was indeed mean.  As my son was eating his sandwich, the boy asked, "Is that COOKED bread?" with a snotty tone.  I asked my son how he answered him and he said he just kept quiet.  He was sobbing by this point in his storytelling.  I explained that a couple things were probably going on.  1.  The boy didn't know that all sandwich bread is cooked.  2.  He was jealous that you have a cool sandwich container that might look like something leftovers would be in, thus the cooked comment.  My son thought those made lots of sense but insisted that the boy was mean.  

I can't see that scenario has changed a whole lot in my adult life.  Sometimes people don't understand or don't want to understand and they just want to be mean.  We went on to discuss that people's hearts are sad or lonely and they say things out of their mouths as a result.  It's taken me almost 40 years to get that it's not personal.  I feel bad for people who are hurting and have to hurt others to cope.  What can we do in response?  Just like I told my first grader: be nice even when you don't want to be, pray for mean people, ask God to make lunch a pleasant experience next time.  We can do that as adults, too...I'm sure of it.  

If they haven't already, your kids will encounter mean people at school.  What will you say to them?

Romans 12:18
Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.  

Be lifted!

No comments: