Just Another Manic Mommy
Name Calling at School
Dear Manic Mommy: My 7-year-old daughter got off the bus in tears the other day because someone called her a name at school. I’m afraid she’s going to have self-esteem issues if this keeps happening!
Manic Mommy: I feel for you! Kids can be so cruel! My own brother was mean to me. He used to call me Whale-Bone-Whaler. (Let me just explain something about this terrible nickname: It was the late ’70s/early ’80s when the Whaler sandwich debuted at Burger King. We went to Burger King a lot. And, yeah, I was kinda chunky.)
But still, that nickname was not nice! And I should have done what I’m going to tell you to tell your daughter, and what I tell my children today when someone says something mean.
I tell them that there are people in the world who are filled with garbage, who don’t feel good about themselves, so they try to get rid of their own garbage by dumping it onto other people. And I can’t necessarily take credit for coming up with this clever garbage-truck analogy, because I originally heard it from my yoga teacher. But it’s such a great concept.
People who don’t feel good about themselves try to toss the dirt and the garbage from their own lives into other peoples’ lives so they can feel better about themselves by making others feel dirty or worse.
So, when your son or daughter comes home feeling sad because someone said something mean to them or called them a rotten name like Whale-Bone-Whaler (even if it is your own brother whom you still love dearly but still remind 25-plus years later that he was a jerky and mean 10-year-old!), then just look to your shoulder, flip the dirt that ignorant person is trying to dump on you right off, and if you have to, say this out loud: “No, thanks, you can keep your dirt and your garbage, because I don’t want it!