What would you do?

Kids are hard. Parenting is hard. A manual really would have been nice when we started our family. Since that is not the case, I must to turn to other methods of getting advice.

Luckily for me, a community comes with blogging. When a blogger has a question or needs some advice, there is usually someone out there who can help. This is where I am right now. I'll give you the situation and hopefully someone can offer some advice.

Bobby is 5 and Jan is 9.

They've been playing quietly for a while now. Almost too quiet, so you pop your head in to check on them.

You overhear Bobby telling Jan a "super secret that no one else can hear".

The secret - Bobby really loves his friend Joe.

As Jan is walking away, you hear her say, "Dude, you're gay!"

What would you have done?

Do you walk away and say nothing? After all, kids will be kids. They say some crazy stuff when they think no one is listening.

Or do you address the situation? With one or both of them? Bobby probably doesn't even know what "gay" means. Jan may know a little, but not everything. If this is the route you choose, what do you say?

Yes, I overheard this conversation, and no, I am not telling you my reaction yet. I've been thinking about my reaction, and looking back, I'm not sure if it was the right one. I need your thoughts please.

Until next time....


Unknown said...

I would pull both kids aside and explain to them that using that word i that manner was not very nice.I have a feeling if he already thinks it is something that should be secret he has a notion that being gay is a bad thing, AND it has something to do with boys loving boys.
I would tell him that he should love everyone, period, boy or girl. That we may not LIKE some things they do but we should love them. Then I would explain to her why we don't say things like that because the same applies. We Love everyone.

Stacy.Wills said...

Hmmm, my first comment was "ignore it". A 5 year old can't distinguish between different kinds of love, and talking to him about it more (especially when it's super duper secret) may embarass him. On the comment made by sister, well, sisters and brothers say things to each other that they would NEVER say to other people.

But then I thought a little more... And little dude definitely needs to know that you love him and that he can talk to you - even super duper secrets - and be accepted and validated. I know siblings share a secial bond, but Mom and Dad need to have open communications with the kids too.

And big sis is old enough now to know that throwing around derogatory comments is not OK. Because while she probably wouldn't say anything mean to other kids, you don't want her to get into the habit of saying things like "you're gay" in a joking or mocking way - you know, like a lot of *us* used to do when we were kids. So I really do think that two separate conversations are in order. Good luck and let us know how you handled it. I don't look forward to these days.

Oka said...

I think I would pull they 9 year old aside and discuss things with. Make sure you understand what she actually knows (maybe correcting any wrong ideas she has).

I also remind my older children, that the younger ones say and do things that mean/are completely different (things)then what older kids/teens/parents mean/do.

Unknown said...

I would have pulled them aside separately and explained why it's hurtful to call names like that.

Kmama said...

Holy crap. I don't know. I guess I would talk to them separately, starting with Jan. Good luck!

Shell said...

Oh, that's a hard one. I would start with talking to Jan about why we shouldn't use words like that or make judgments like that.

Cyndy Bush said...

I think I would not let them know that you heard, but talk to each of them separately about what gay means, your family's beliefs about it, etc. and encourage them to talk to you if they have any questions or confusion.