My daughter got told her teeth were weird. Right in front of me. On the way to school. By one of her closest friends. Stones fell in my heart.
Her teeth are extremely crooked and large and her ‘fangs’ are growing up above the rest of her teeth.
I could see her hurt. I could see her shut down and get a bit smaller.
I couldn’t say anything there and then because I knew she needed to handle this herself without mum stepping in (Oh My God How Embarrassing!). She’s nine. Not three.
That night I sat on her bed and asked: How did that make you feel?
I told her how much it hurts me if someone makes fun of my body.
Then I asked: would you like to talk about what to say when someone makes you feel bad about something you can’t change?
Getting the nod, we talked about calling out SHEEP. That’s just sheep thinking – because sheep just think like everyone else. Calling you weird means you think everyone should be the same, like sheep.
Then she completely blew me away.
She said: “it’s not sheep thinking it’s Donald Trump thinking! He doesn’t like anyone who is different. He wants to build a wall to keep them out.
I’m going to call Donald Trump thinking to the next person who calls me weird.”
I had a smile the size of Texas. Atta girl. You gonna be okay.
Learning how to have these conversations isn’t urgent. But it is important. Having the nuance and understanding how to draw your darlings out and help them find their own words is priceless.
Check out the six-week self-study Know What To Say eCourse.
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