By Lydia Holt
You know the saying, little pictures have big ears? It’s true, and not only when talking about grown folks business and shooing little ones out of the room. A few months ago, my 5-year-old witnessed me confront a man about his street harassment of another woman passing by. It wasn’t a physical confrontation (he was in a car in the middle of the street and paid little attention to my reprimand) but I became very angry. My son asked why I was so angry. I told him it was because that man was being so rude.
“He was being so rude to you? So you got angry?”
“He was being rude to another woman but you should always say something when someone is being mean and rude even if they’re not saying or doing it to you.”
After I had cooled off, I feared that I was setting a dangerous example for my son. What if he got hurt because he stood up to the wrong person? But then last night, he told me about something that happened at school. I was wrestling my almost 2-year-old into his pajamas while he simultaneously giggled and whined at the inconvenience, and at the same time my older son began to mock baby-cry.
“That’s not helping,” I said on the edge of frustration.
“It’s not nice to call a big kid a baby.”
“No, it’s not,” I said, dodging a kick aimed at my head.
“It’s rude to say that.”
“Did someone call you a baby?” I asked, having won the wrestling match and now able to give him my full attention.
“Did someone call someone else a baby?”
“Yes and I told him that was mean.”
“And what happened.”
“Way to stand up to bullying!”
“You should always speak up so that other people can hear you,” he said.
I am so proud of my little anti-bullying advocate!