Sunday, September 5, 2010

Do you Flinch Back?

Your answer to this question will determine your level of happiness in life. What do you do when someone flinches at you? Do you flinch back? Do you sock them in the face? Do you threaten them? Do you curse at them? Do you ask them what's wrong? Do you walk away? Do you smile? Do you ignore them? What do you do?

"I'm talking to these little white girls." she yelled across the parking lot to another parent. "Little white girls," it hardly seemed like an appropriate way to refer to someone else kids. We were at the park and some drama had transpired between my, um, white girls, and some other, um, white girls. The drama was a clear case of he said she said with a heaping dose of kids being kids. It was silly.

"Are these girls with you?" the lady asked me angrily from across the playground.
"Yes" I replied.
"Well this little girl said she was going to slap my little girl and I ain't gonna let no one slap my girl."
"Don't worry," I reassured, "I don't let the kids slap each other. I'm watching."

I didn't bother to get up or raise my voice. My tone was clear and consistent. My calm demeanor seemed to catch her off guard. She wanted a fight, an argument, a chance to yell. Not knowing how to react she took her kids and stormed off.

"Did you hear her call us little white girls?"
"Yea I did. I mean, you are white you know?"
"She's racist."
"Maybe," I replied, "But it doesn't matter. It's best just to ignore people like that. Take a few deep breaths and go have fun."

I think that is good advice for life. Take a few deep breaths and go have fun. If you ignore the stupid people, the angry people, and the people who are just looking for a fight, your life will be much happier. Don't flinch back.


Karen said...

Well, in all fairness, IF she did say something snide to the other girl, Mama Bear had a right to flinch. I would have assessed the situation and then if I believed my child threatened the other child, I would have said something to her...perhaps in private, but I wouldn't have let it pass by. And then I would have talked about the importance of being kind to others (this would have related to both sides). THEN she would continue to play.
But I do like your analogy. Cookies and milk, anyone?

DanThoms said...

It was something along the lines of the other girl did something purposely obnoxious to them and then when she was walking away the girl with me said something along the lines of "I aught to slap that girl."

There was no real threat and no one touched anyone. I didn't even hear any of the kids raise their voices at each other. The lady went 100% off of what her kid said and never bothered to hear the other side of the story. She just reacted. If I felt there was any real threat I would have done something. If it were handled correctly it could have been easily resolved and the other ladies kids could have kept playing.

Elaine said...

Good advice

Helen Ann said...

Well handled. :)

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Thanks, I'll remember this one.

Not Too Old said...

It is truly amazing to me how unwittingly parents teach their children that it is okay to be rude. How silly that she would be calling you out for your friend's behavior in such a rude and unpleasant way.

Way to show by example that kind calm words and a demonstration of responsibility for the situation can triumph over confrontation and violence.