A few months back, I wrote that my son had never been bullied at his Texas public school. Perhaps it was inevitable, given that Waylon is in third grade now, but a week or two later there was an incident. The story unfolded over dinner at our favorite neighborhood Texmex restaurant. Waylon was well into his second bean and cheese taco when he broached the subject. “Mom, B– said that being gay is bad.”
Parents don’t want their kids to make unpopular choices out of a feeling of love. And also, mostly, a feeling of fear. We love our kids and we want to protect them. We’re actually required to protect them. It’s part of our job as parents. However, we have the equally important job of deciding what to protect our children from.
As the mother of a long-haired boy who has already had feminine-flavored insults thrown at him by other kids, I’ve already had to make choices on when to step in to help him handle the situation. I wonder, though: how do you decide when to let your kid(s) fight their battles, and when to stop potentially damaging situations?
“…I do believe that children’s whimsy should be encouraged … and that any child who expresses the desire to march bravely forward into the world with her heart and imagination on her sleeve … should be supported in that desire.”