What is it with kids and how they treat their peers! It breaks my heart when M (My Oldest) tells me the names kids have called him...twice this summer he's had his ball cap thrown into the dirt by another kid...and today the other kid in his swim class kept purposely splashing water at him while he was trying to do his laps. He has such a sweet, soft heart that is easily broken and he just doesn't understand why there are other kids who can be so cruel. I just wish I could protect him from all the hurt in the world. But the reality is that I can't.
So, I tell him that unfortunately it is just one of the sad truths about life. There are kids who are not nice to him now and there are going to be adults that are not nice to him when he is an adult. I told him it's all in how you handle it.
Now My Sweetie and I have quite differing opinions on how to react to these so called Bullies. My Sweetie has the "Eye for an Eye" therory. If someone calls you a name, you call them a name right back; if someone throws your hat in the dirt you do the same to theirs, if someone splashes you you splash them back. Revenge. Retaliation. Hate. OK, I know I shouldn't judge and this is such a Discipleship Denied issue for me that I really need to somehow work on, BUT, How is THAT Christ like?!?! ARGH!!!!!!!!
Whew, OK! Moving on...
I on the other hand think that you should love your enemies and forgive them I've told M before that if someone says something mean to him or does something mean to him he should say something nice back. It would just shock these kids I think to hear a come back of a compliment. Tried to stress the importance of nicely asking someone to stop what they are doing. I know that this is all easier said then done. But I really don't think revenge and/or retaliation is AT ALL the solution. That is why this world is in such shambles....people can't just "let things go," everyone feels that they need to fight for their way in this world.
I know I can't protect my kids from everything that is to come in their lives. The best I can do as their mom is to equip them with the confidence and love that they need to in fact love those who mistreat them and to forgive them. I need to teach them to give all their worries to God and to trust HIM to take care of things rather than trying to take care of things themselves.
I pray that someday My Sweetie will be able to back me up on this rather than argue with me about it.