Monday, 30 April 2012

Sticks and Stones....

....will break my bones but names will never hurt me.


As far as I can tell, the hurt that names bring is the kind of hurt that lingers for years and years like a dark cloud hovering over your shoulder just waiting to rain on you again.

We live in an ugly world in which I am discovering our children are becoming more and more anaesthetised to name calling. I am astounded by the names that are bandied about which are apparently 'normal' and 'everyone does it'. Does that make it right?

Perhaps I am struck by 'first time mother syndrome' and when Jonah reaches the grand old age of 10 I will also think those names are 'normal', but when Toby comes home and tells me the names he has been called that day I find every maternal, protective bone in my body crying out for justice, revenge and solutions to the problem.

"Leave it Mum", I'm told by my 10 year old. "It's fine. Everyone does it. They're not bullying me."

There is a fine line between calling someone a name and bullying. But I have to take a deep breath and be led by my boy, who knows his world far better than I do and knows the consequences of Mummy coming to the rescue. Despite wanting to march down to the school and demand why my boy is being called these names, I need to walk the difficult tightrope of allowing him the time and space to sort some things out for himself but as soon as I am needed I will be there.

Sticks and stones are preferable. Bones are easier and quicker to mend than hearts.

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