I was in the park the other evening and we met a very polite and precocious little five year old. He wanted to play football with my little boy. So for half an hour we all ran around kicking the ball up high and running. He was a lovely little boy and very considerate of my little ones clear lack of understanding of sharing. When we had to go we agreed we would meet up again tomorrow. He asked my name and I told him. But then something strange happened. He laughed and said ‘I probably won’t remember your name tomorrow. I don’t have a good brain. I’m not very clever.’
I told him he seemed very clever to me and we had really enjoyed meeting him. But this stuck with me for the night.
Why do we feel it necessary to put someone down or quash a belief in themselves? Someone along the way has told him he isn’t bright – after spending a little time with him – I totally object! A five year old shouldn’t even know these words.
Unfortunately this is part of life. Another situation recently occurred – a mum picked up her 3 year old and a 5 year old girl. She over heard the 5 year old say to the 3 year old ‘you’re fat!’ The mother then wondered, what do you when this happens? To give the 3 year old her dues she told the older girl ‘that’s not very nice’. Of course the mummy stepped in and said she’s not fat she’s tall. But again in this situation what do you do.
These are seemingly innocent situations but I wonder what is the lasting effect?
None of mine are old enough to have this happen to them yet but I do wonder how I would react. Of course you want to protect your children but you also want them to learn to stand up for themselves. So how do you do both?
So back to the lovely boy from yesterday evening. I really hope that others reaffirm how bright he is and that he has a great brain.