We have to do better. We have to teach our kids to embrace differences. We have to teach them not to be a bully.
Over the last 12 hours I have hugged my kiddo multiple times with tears streaming down her face as she’s poured out her heart to me.
“Mommy. My friends at school call you fat.”
“I am fat kiddo. I need to lose about 30 pounds,” I replied.
I didn’t add that I also need to stop turning to chocolate instead of God in times of stress. But that’s for a different blog post. 😉
“Mommy, you’re beautiful to me. Why can’t they see that?”
I told her as I have aged I have learned two things.
1. Beauty isn’t about the outward appearance.
Proverbs 31:30 (NIV) reminds us that “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
2. People tend to point out flaws in others when they haven’t learned how to accept their own flaws.
I told her that we all struggle with pride and you see that early in life by people making fun of other people. That’s a hard concept to teach an 8 year old.
James 3:9-10 reminds us, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Our of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”
“Mommy, a boy tells me I’m a baby because you write me notes in my lunchbox, and he calls me odd because I love Bluey.”
I told her Daddy still surprises me with notes in my purse, my desk, and my car. We aren’t babies.
And I reminded her that we all have different tastes. We aren’t odd because we like different things. The world would be so boring without diversity.
I personally still love Elmo! And Cookie Monster. And Veggie Tales. I even like Bluey.
“Mommy, a girl in my class tells me repeatedly I’m the worst kid in the class. She says I need to behave better. Maybe I am a bad kid. I do have to walk the road (school discipline) a lot.”
I told her she isn’t a bad kid. She is struggling to find her place in the classroom. She is struggling to believe she can do the work.
That little girl has no clue how much my daughter has overcome in the last few years. That little girl has no clue the reasons behind why she gets in trouble for talking or not being able to focus.
The same goes for all of us when we judge others. We don’t know the shoes they’re walking in or the path they’ve taken to get there.
James 4:12 (NIV) reminds us, “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?”
I love my kiddo. As I hugged her in a parking lot before dropping her off at school and wiped away tears this morning, I gave her one last piece of advice.
“Remember how you feel right now. Go out of your way to never make another person feel the same. Shower them with love and compliments.”
John 13:35 (NIV) reminds us, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”