Here’s a snippet of our after-school conversation today.
Me: How was lunch?
J: It was good, thanks for the delicious lunch!
Me: Did you eat it all?
J: Yes, I ate my cheese, my meat, my crackers. I stacked them up and made a sandwich! When I did that Kid 1* and Kid 2* said “yuck”. When they said that it breaked my heart inside. So I said yum and it healed back up. And I ate my grapes and dessert.
Me: Did you just say it hurt your heart when they said yuck about your lunch?
Yep, my almost five year old said that it broke her heart when 2 other kids made fun of her lunch. What a reminder that words have power. And, yes, when she was telling me about it my heart hurt a bit too.
Come on parents, teachers, grandparents, other adults: let’s keep trying to teach them all to be kind to one another. Let’s remind them that words matter, that they can build each other up or tear each other down. Yes, this means we need to watch what we say too 🙂
It’s possible you’re reading this and thinking that we just need to toughen up -that it’s not a big deal. And, while you’re entitled to your opinion, I’m frustrated to see that already in Pre-K my kiddo’s feelings are being hurt by the ones that are supposed to be her friends. Whether anyone else thinks it should matter or not, the fact remains that these kids saying “yuck” about her lunch hurt her feelings. How we treat one another does matter, our words have power, and if we can help the young ones know how to encourage each other, how to say kind, helpful things instead of mean ones, then I believe our world will be a better place for us all.
* Kid 1 and Kid 2 are also 4 years old, so I thought leaving their names out seemed best.