One of my goals as a parent is to make sure the kids aren’t bothered too much by what other people say. I don’t think it’s healthy to let your emotions be ruled by other people.
Take, for example, the word “fat.” A lot of people think it’s a dirty word. Call them fat and they immediately burst into anger, outrage, or a deep depression. That gives the word too much power, in my opinion. I much prefer being able to laugh it off.
So, I’ve explained to the kids that it’s not nice to call people fat, particularly strangers or anyone who might be feeling a bad about their weight. “But,” I added. “It’s okay to call me fat. I don’t care. It doesn’t bother me. In fact, I think it’s pretty funny to joke about it.”
Flash forward to two weekends ago. I’d been feeling inordinately tired all week. When Saturday came, and my wife and oldest headed out to a birthday party, I made an attempt to take a nap.
“Hey big guy,” I said to my youngest. “Daddy’s really tired. Want to watch a movie while I take a nap on the couch?”
“A nap?” he asked.
“Yeah, I don’t know why I’ve been so tired lately, but I’ve been really sleepy.”
He looked at me very seriously, his brown eyes big and round. “It’s ’cause you’re too fat, Daddy. That’s why.”
So much for that lesson.