Friday, September 14, 2007

Sticks and Stones

You remember what you were told as a child when you were teased:

"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me". We who were teased realized pretty quickly that is so untrue. Words do hurt. Teasing for the sheer aspect of putting someone down and belittling them hurts. The "kids are just being kids and playing" excuse doesn't wash. Because "fun" kiddind around isn't hurtful. Teasing is hurtful. As I watch my son make his way through public school and see the teasing that has begun. My heart twists within my body. The last few weeks I watched his usually sparkling eyes began to lose their sparkle and be downcast. Then the final straw was when I heard him crying in his sleep "I am not to little, I am not too little" as he wept in his sleep in utter and complete misery. My heart broke within my mommy body. We comforted him and prayed with him and reassured him that being small is NOT a bad thing. Then I emailed his teacher. She acted appropriately and quickly. Yesterday, he was teased again and the teaser was quickly put in his place. They also did a whole class discussion with first graders about teasing. I was impressed at how quickly they acted. At his school they have a no tolerance policy. That being said, my son's experiences brought back hard, painful memories for me. In my day, teasing was seen as child's play. It was seen as a "right of passage" all kids must travel through. Yet, while yes, I guess I did become stronger, it created scars that lasted for years. People think teasing is nothing as long as the child is not physically harmed. I have even had people say or imply this. Yet, the unseen, emotional scars can be just as painful. Those first few weeks of my son being teased, I watched him began to question his place in his world. Even though he heard from us how special and precious he is. He heard from peers, that he was different and strange, simply because he is small. It quickly began to have an impact. That is how powerful words are. Words, seem so insignificant in a manner of speaking but words can start wars, destroy lives, or wreak havoc in any number of ways.

Words
have
the power
to invoke
thought
pain
joy
sorrow
growth
delay
blossoming
death of a spirit.

Yes, words have that kind of power. Just think about our blogs and how the words people write can inspire us to be better or become angry or have peace or joy. Words, never forget their power. So sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can break a heart, so always use them carefully because they leave a lasting imprint wherever they land.

2 comments:

Country Girl At Heart said...

Your words ring true. Teasing hurts. It doesn't make us stronger. It breaks the spirit of the individual. I watched it happen to my own child. Children put alot of stock in the opinions of their peers. So when those same peers say words to hurt, it causes conflict and damage. My child is a more confident person today. Homeschooling allows me to create the ideal enviornment for her to grow and understand that God created her. Also to teach her that God did not make any mistakes when he created her.Your son will be in my prayers.
Hadias

Thelma said...

Hadias: Thanks so much. I think with us being open with him and letting him talk about it and praying with him, and giving him tools to handle it, it is helping him. We teach him that he is "fearfully and wonderfully made". God created him like he is for a specific reason and purpose and that God designed him perfectly and he has gifts that go beyond size. God will help him learn to use his gifts to bless others. He says "like praying for people mommy". I said exaclty.....did I mention, I am so proud of my son!