I recently had an experience that left me reflecting on how I expect my children and my students to respond in difficult situations.
As adults, I think that we sometimes expect more of children than we are capable of ourselves. When children or my students come to me and say that someone called them a name or said something that hurt their feelings, I intervene to ask for apologies and then expect them to let it go and move on. We have dealt with it, and now we have to put it behind us.
I learned it matters because it hurts my heart that they think that about me. Sometimes we say an apology cannot take away the pain, and moving on is not always easy to do. If I struggle to let it go as an adult, how can I expect a child to do it with ease?
The name that I was called was a harsh one, and it was meant to hurt, but where children are concerned, who decides what name is especially cruel? What should or should not hurt someone’s feelings?
No matter how small or trivial the name or comment seems to us, we should take a child seriously when they come to us and say that their feelings have been hurt. We should hear them out, and we should not expect them to move on with ease. No matter how much we wish it wasn’t true, what others think of us does have an effect on us.