So,

Some kids can be nice, right?

Others, not as nice.

I remember a time when I just a wee lad. I was playing basketball at the park closest to where I lived. I had just finished and was walking off the court. I remember that I left so that I wouldn’t be out later than when my parents wanted me home.

Some people (two girls) that I knew from school walked up to me and asked if they could play. I told them that I had to get home by whatever time it was.

They laughed and knocked the ball from my hands – teasing me and saying something to the effect of ‘well maybe you just don’t want to play with us’

I assured them “no, I really have to go”

A few minutes later, I’m starting to panic a little. I didn’t want to get in trouble from getting home late. I tried to get the ball from them but they kept playing “keep away” and kept it far away from me.

They laughed.

I started to cry. I didn’t know what else to do and I couldn’t very well take the ball from them.

Elizabeth and Kendra didn’t seem to care. They laughed some more and said “oh you are such a baby… two girls are going to make you cry?! how stupid”

After a minute or so, they relented and gave me my ball. They mentioned that it would be funny if kids at school found out about this event.

They grew up, as all kids do. Probably never really giving that interaction a second thought. Here I am, 40 years old now and can still remember how that made me feel from back then. It was not fun.

My own kid, Arabella – recently had a run in with some local kids.

She was wearing this beautiful pink dress that says “Barbie” across it. She is a fan of barbie, so yeah she wore it. The kids all gathered around her and immediately started picking on her. Telling her that she dressed like a kindergartener or a first grader. They laughed. She cried and ran home.

She came in the front door, ran straight to her room and went to bed. Sky was able to get to the bottom of things. Once I found out I have to say, my blood boiled a little.

I thought of when my mom told me she was once circled around by other kids who didn’t like her in school. They made fun of her last name and kicked her while doing it.

I later was on the phone and told my dad about the incident. He told me about a story he had when he was also just a tike.

He was sick and ended up staying home from school for the week. He didn’t remember what he was sick with, only that he was sick and was at home that week. Well, the teacher let them all write letters to my dad. He read them and said the girls wrote some nice “get better” letters. But there were a couple of guys who wrote him and put “DDDD” for Drop Dead Dumb Dewey.

I hadn’t even heard him tell this story before now. It is amazing that you remember others actions and words so vividly.

Kids can be so harsh, mean and never really know the impact of their words. We should be speaking life – and I know that its easy to say… but that’s what we strive for.

We ended up texting all the parents of the kids who were involved. What happened? They apologized, and later (3 out of the 5 she was hanging out with) told her that they didn’t want to hang out with her anymore. That she is more of a bother than not, and to just leave them alone.

Ugh.

I have no words, other than to say I held my tongue.

The words we pick hold immense influence over our own reality and the experiences of those we interact with. By speaking words of affirmation and encouragement, we can help to foster positive outcomes and cultivate meaningful relationships.

{[EndQuote: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” Proverbs 18:21]}

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