Bad Mama

Bad Mama: You’re Stupid!


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As a parent, you always want the best for your children. You make sure you give YOUR best to make that possible. It’s your responsibility to look after your children’s interests & well-being. No excuses.

So when your child comes home saying words that are cause for attention, it’s expected to set off warning alarms in your brain.

Yesterday afternoon was as normal as any other. I left work at the same time, sat in traffic while singing at the top of my lungs & felt excited that the weekend was one day away. I picked Monster up from school; he pretty much jumped into my arms to shower me with hugs & kisses. We said our goodbyes to his teacher & headed off to the shops to buy some necessities.

When we were back in the car, we drove to the Gautrain Station to pick Byren up. While waiting in the pick-up zone, Monster was pointing out of the window, babbling away & giggling. Then suddenly he said something that sounded like “Jy’s dom”. I felt my heart crawl up into my neck & pound even harder, cutting off my air-supply. Those two words translate to “You’re stupid” in English. Where would my {almost} two year old pick up on such a phrase?

It might not have been such a worry if things I have heard in the last two weeks weren’t somehow connected to the words. It’s normal for children to pick up on words & actions quickly; their minds working like sponges. But finding a connection with past conversations definitely spiked my concerns.

About two weeks ago, Byren went to pick Monster up & his teacher told Byren that Monster has no interests in reading, writing, drawing, coloring in or painting. All he wants to do is play with balls, blocks or spend his whole time outside. When Byren carried the message over to me, I was already well aware of this as at home, he doesn’t take interest in these activities as well. No matter how long you sit there coloring in or drawing, he will stare at you blankly & carry on with the toys in front of him. I decided, after hearing the teacher’s concerns, to try & get him more involved at home. {It’s still a work in progress.}

The next day was my turn to pick Monster up. His teacher then bluntly said, “I think Monster might have a hearing problem. He doesn’t listen when I call all the kids into the class & carries on playing outside.” I know Monster doesn’t have a hearing problem. He hears me very well whenever I’m with him, & he hears what Byren says as well. I believe that selective hearing & stubbornness accompanies the Terrible Two’s. As soon as they reach the age where kids feel independence, they do try to control situations to their interests. I see it as normal behavior. There are times when Monster doesn’t even listen to me, so I take away whatever he is busy with until his attention is switched to me. I told her exactly that; she agreed but still suggested that the Doctors need to check his hearing when he goes for his two-year check-up next month. She also added that he doesn’t say a lot of words. Believe you me, but when Monster feels like it, you can’t get him to stop talking. He does say a lot of words, when he feels like saying them. He is able to point to his learning books at a picture & tell us what it is. If he doesn’t know it, he’ll point at the picture, look up at you & ask “What?”, then we tell him & he repeats it. So there’s nothing wrong with the amount of words he knows or his learning ability.

Of course, worries & fears overwhelmed me; I started thinking,”What if something is wrong? What if we’re overlooking a problem that we think we’ll get better in time?” I consulted with my mom-in law & she suggested we test his hearing the old school way. I held Monster in my arms, facing towards me. She took a knife & a fork & lightly tapped them together behind his head; first closer to the right ear & then the left. Both times he immediately looked around to see where the sound was coming from. If he couldn’t hear even the slightest sound, then yes, we’d have a possible problem on our hands. As for the interests, she reminded me that all kids develop & grow on their own terms, on their own time. Schools take a “chart list” & compare your kid against that chart because it’s a set milestone list for the certain age group. It’s like a Bible for teachers & if you’re incapable of doing one or two things on the list; there’s something wrong with your development. They don’t look at the bigger picture; that no child is the same & that no child will learn to do exactly the same as the next child in the same timeframe.

With all these concerns looming over my head, & then he drops a down-grading phrase, it set off alarms. I don’t want to make assumptions, but for the best interests of my son, I will have to. Byren & I have never used those kind of words on our son nor any other child; not now & never in the future. It’s degrading & breaks down self-esteem. If Monster has been told that, for a lot of reasons I’m glad he’s still too young to understand the meaning. In the same wind, it’s not appropriate to use it at any age. Monster doesn’t spend any time with older kids in his school, who could possibly know the meaning of those words & say it to other kids. The only other person I can think of to say it is his teacher. With her open negative reviews on his development from a few days ago & now this – it makes me really wonder if she couldn’t have said it to him. He could’ve heard her maybe say it to another kid, & Monster

picked it up, which still wouldn’t make it right. Such language must not be used on kids, & even not on adults. It’s part of bullying & that’s something that needs to be stop from a young age already.

I wonder if maybe I misheard what he was saying, since he is still learning the different pronunciations of sounds & words, but when I try to insert a different word which could sound the same, I can’t place one which would make sense with the letter “I” in front of it. Going to the teacher & just dealing out accusations that might be my mistake on hearing, could stir up a bad relationship & image. Byren & I discussed how to handle the situation. We decided to not react but rather listen for it to happen again. If she has been saying it, he will say it again. Then we will report it to the headmistress.

We stand up for our children because they can’t. We protect them from harm, abuse & all other negative aspects that may come across their paths.

We are our children’s voices.

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2 thoughts on “Bad Mama: You’re Stupid!

  1. Oh I like this post. Most of the time your gut feeling is correct. When my daughter was in Kindergarden I had the wierd feeling almost from the very start. I could never really place a finger on what it was. After 2 and a half years (German Children go to Kindergarten from age 3 to 6) we decided to change the instition and send her elsewhere. It was the best decition we could have made. She began to blossom in the new Kindergarden which gave her a much better start when she finally started school later that year.

    It sounds like you are doing a great job. And don’t be afraid to talk to his teacher. Of course without accusing her, but that goes without saying. Have a nice day.

  2. I would also like to suggest that you listen to your gut when you hear concerns from his teachers. When my daughter was in 1st grade, she told us that we have to hold her back ( we were only 3 months into school ) because she is just too young to be in 1st grade. She brought some of her own prejudices into the decision, and thus wrote my child off when we said we wouldn’t. She struggled for a long time through school and we started to second guess ourselves, but now our daughter is honor roll and THRIVING! Listen to your gut, but also listen to what they say. If enough people mention the same thing, have it looked into, but ultimately, what do your instincts tell you.

    I also agree 100% with your post. We are the only ones to stand up for our kids, and with Chase only being a toddler, he is still developing and doesn’t know how to stand up for himself. You are your childs voice. You are the best activist he has!

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