Sometimes the things your children say can just break your heart. When I was getting clothes out for the girls to wear to choir practice one Wednesday night, I pulled out a pair of jeans and a T-shirt for Joy. As I handed them to her she said, “Aw, I was hoping to wear something pretty.” I put the T-shirt back, pulled out a blouse instead, and asked if that was any better. Her eyes lit up as she bobbed her little head up and down. I didn’t really think too much about it, but as I was walking out of the room, she asked, “Mom, do you know why I want to wear pretty things?”
“Why?” I asked, expecting one of her little crazy answers.
“Because, (she named three girls) won’t play with me if I don’t look pretty.”
The mama tiger emotions arose in me. In fact, I was so mad I couldn’t even talk to her about it right then. The thought of my little girl only in second grade and already being treated differently at church based on what she wore just infuriated me. I had to preach to myself to calm down. (Do you ever preach to yourself?) Anyway, though it’s not right that children discriminate against one another, it is, I’m sure, very common. I had to remind myself of the way I, ahem, behaved when I was little. I also reminded myself that my children are not necessarily always little model citizens themselves!
I was able to talk to Joy later about how wrong it was for kids to treat other kids that way and how she could learn from the experience. Knowing how awful it feels, she should never be a part of treating other children differently based on the way they dress. It was also a good time to talk about choosing friends wisely. She was very sober as we talked about it. Still, from now on I will try to remember to pick out her pretty clothes!
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