We have family dinners a few times a week. It’s so nice for all of us to sit around the table, eat together and share the events of the day. I found that my kids tend to share things that are bothering them in this setting more than any other time.
My younger son who is almost 11 is in fifth grade. I didn’t realize how big of a year it was for foul language and boundary testing this has been for him and his class. I believe it’s mostly the boys in that class that use all sorts of colorful language. It may be the girls as well but I'm not sure. Either way, it's definitely been an eye opener and jaw dropper!
A little situation
The other day, my son was playing soccer with his buddies at recess. He got into an altercation with one of his classmates. The language that commenced was so out of the context of a fifth grader that I ended up calling the other parent about the situation. The mom was so distraught by her son’s language that I found myself consoling her about the whole thing.
A few days later she called me back to tell me my son’s role in the whole thing. He had defintiely been less than noble in his behavior as well. You could technically argue that my son was more at fault for his behavior and the other kid was just reacting to what he was faced with.
How quick we are to judge
I found myself thinking about judgment. How quick we are to pass judgment on a situation without knowing the full story. There are always two sides to every story and we would really benefit from hearing all sides before making a judgment. I ended up feeling so bad for the other kid after hearing his version. Had I not had the courage to call the other parent, I probably would still not know the story and would be mad at the other kid for what he said.
I talked to my son about it and he never talked about what he himself did wrong. I don’t think because he didn’t want to own it, rather because he forgot what he did. I thought about how often we do that in situations as well. We feel that we have been wronged and that we didn’t contribute in any way to the argument or misunderstanding.
It's always more important to be kind
The mom and I got to a really good place with the situation ultimately. I talked to my son about being mindful of his behavior and to be inclusive. She was going to help her son figure out how to stand up for himself without resorting to such terrible language. She ended up thanking me for reaching out to her.
I find that I wish I had done that more over the years. Its so hard to call someone and talk about misunderstandings. I talk to my kids about Dr. Wayne Dyer and his teachings all the time. One of my favorite of his quotes are, “It’s more important to be kind than to be right.” What a beautiful statement. If we could only approach every situation with that attitude!