The Journal of Allan Haslinds

A first person version of another's tale
05/04/2004 07:47 p.m.
My son came home crying from kindergarten this afternoon. It seems as though, for the first time in his short life, he had found himself on the receiving end of a bully's taunts. As I brushed the washcloth over the tear-stained cheeks of my bonnie little boy, I listened to his story of the childish insults and verbal abuse cast at him by Jeffy the First-Grader. Taking his hand, we walked into the living room and I sat him on the couch next to me, my arm around his little shoulders.

"Mi hijo, I want you to think about something. I don't yell mean names at you, do I?"

"No, Daddy."

"And the teachers and aides at school, do they call you mean names?"


"Do they call Jeffy mean names?"


I looked down into my son's sad brown eyes, and I asked him,
"So where do you think Jeffy learned to yell mean names?"

I watch for a moment as he wrestled with the idea. "Do you think people call Jeffy mean names?!" he asked in wonder.

"Well, I don't know for sure, but when someone does mean things, they had to have learned it from somewhere."

His eyes widened and he asked in an awed voice, "Do you think Jeffy's Mommy and Daddy are mean to him? That's yucky!"

I proud in that moment. He had put aside his anger and sadness at being picked on, and tried to look to the causes. In doing so, I think he learned a bit about what compassion means. We talked more about how we didn't know Jeffy's parents had actually been mean to him, but that it didn't matter who it had been, he was treating people like he had been treated. I hope that the ideas that came into my son's head today stay with him.
I am currently Proud

Member Comments on this Entry
Posted by Richard Paez on 05/04/04 at 09:29 PM

you are a wise parent. keep this up and you will have a wise son. thanks for sharing this story. -R

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