Sunday, February 7, 2010

Aha! I'm a Parent!

The forces of the universe conspired so that Eldest ended up the sole child at dinner Friday night. I mentioned the latest controversy surrounding the R word. Eldest, being 13, reacted as expected. In short, he tried to make the case that there was nothing wrong with the R word being bandied about as it is in middle schools across the country.

And I stumbled upon a way to make him see precisely why it would hurt people, and, no, not the people he was trying to hurt. [Hell, call them douchebags or idiots or morons. I'm okay with that.]

"What if you were mentally retarded? How would you feel knowing that other people were being called 'retards' or 'retarded' as an insult? Or what if you were gay? How would you feel knowing that other people were being called 'gay' to insult them?"

[First, he tried not to laugh at the words I was using, much as he tries not to laugh when he hears "heinous" in the Law and Order: SUV opening.]

"Let's say we started using your name to mean something horrible. You just threw a knife away when you were clearing your plate. 'That's such a Robby.' Or how about when you put the recycling in the lawn clippings bin rather than the recycling bin? Or when you left your computer on when I told you not to? 'You're such a Robby!' 'Stop doing a Robby.'"

For the next few minutes, we just used "Robby" interchangeably for "idiot."

Man, that did the trick. He was positively apopletic that we were using his name like that. And thus a lesson was learned.

He is so not a Robby!

Score one for the parental units!

[And, no, his real name isn't Robby. That was for illustrative purposes only. Feel free to use "Robby" as pejoratively as you like.]

[Sunday Scribblings' prompt for this week? Message. I do think my Eldest got the message.]


Lucy said...

great parenting! Giving examples like that is a perfect way for our kids to totally get the picture!
I TOO dislike the R word and was so happy when one of my sons told me that in college if they were caught saying that, they actually got Demerits!

Unknown said...

Love it, love it, love it!

I have a friend who uses a certain word like this and doesnt get why I don't like it. I'm seriously tempted to use your example. Even adults could benefit from it, I think.

Lilibeth said...

That's a good way to teach a child. No wonder he "got the message."

Thomma Lyn said...

Excellent idea and parenting! :)

Jocelyn said...

I like how you punted to make the point...and it paid off! In my house, "pulling a Robby" would just become another catch phrase, most likely, and would miss making its point. It all lapses into giggles.

Anonymous said...

I have been criticized for my parenting skills a few times (for trying to teach gratitude and empathy). I like your approach. I'll tuck this message away in my memory bank. No doubt it will get used.


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