“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” We teach our children this with hopes they’ll be better able to ignore bullies. Though our intentions are good, are we being truthful? Don’t words actually hurt even more than stones?
Recently Kim K has become the bombshell she once was. There’s no doubt about the fact she’s laughing at countless reporters who, just a few months ago, splattered her pregnant body over every celebrity reporting (or should i say bashing) magazine there is. These “bullies” who, in my opinion have caused her to flaunt her newly-made-over body every chance she gets.
I can remember the exact moment when I’d had enough of the “baby fat” jokes. I was at a friend’s house six months after the birth of my beautiful baby girl. While eating someone made a comment about my weight. I gave a shy smile and said “Please don’t draw attention to my stomach.” Someone else said “It’s drawing attention to itself!” I put on a brave face and blushed while everyone laughed but secretly I was horrified. What happened to post baby etiquette?
That night I went home and jumped on Google. I read every “Lose Weight” article in America and a few that weren’t. I put together a plan to lose weight just before I fell asleep. When the sun rose that next morning I was already up working out. Those comments had fueled me like gas to an engine. I would not be the butt of everyone’s jokes again.
We all fear the day our babes will be sent home in tears because they were picked on. What do you say when it happens? By telling them words shouldn’t hurt are we saying that their feelings don’t matter and what do we expect when we say this? Should they bottle up their feelings and ignore the bully, thus leading to an explosive reaction later?
We all know that words do hurt, even at our age. Think of the last time a peer said something that hurt your feelings at work or in a social gathering. If we put ourselves in their shoes it’s easier to help them out.
Let them know that you understand by giving them a situation in which you went through the same thing. Then, tell them how you stood up for yourself. No answer is the wrong answer. Unless of course, you’re telling them to pound someone’s face in. By letting them know you care you’re giving them a chance to be angry and hurt and that’s OK.