I was at a wedding shower this weekend and ran into one of my favorite fellow adoptive moms, whom I hadn't seen in quite some time. She has a grown daughter from Korea, and I remember feeling like a "stalker mom" every time I would run into her in public over the years. I wanted to hear all of her wisdom and experiences, since her daughter always seemed so well adjusted and happy as an Asian teen in a 99% white Oklahoma high school.
We had a really interesting conversation because as I was telling her some of the things my daughter had experienced this year in 3rd grade, she was telling me how her daughter had gone through the same things in elementary school. But the differences in how our children dealt with the obtrusive comments from peers was like night and day. For my daughter, they caused real sadness and pain. For her daughter....they rolled off her back and were gone in an instant.
I'll give you one example. Both of our daughters faced teasing in school for having a flat face. For my daughter, this was a very hurtful experience. The kids teasing her compared her face to a pug, and we have had many conversations on why children can be so mean. My friend's daughter had faced the exact same situation but handled it completely differently. When a child once teased in a crowded classroom, "wow your face is totally flat," her daughter instantly retorted, "I'm Asian, you idiot." No tears. No hurt feelings. Just an eye roll over anyone being so clueless. Her mom told me that she had always faced the world that way and really believed that anyone who made a racist or ignorant comment was completely unworthy of her time.
So how do your kids react to these type of comments? Every child is different, aren't they? As we discussed some of the ways my friend's daughter had responded to kids over the years, truly not letting people ruin her day, I was wishing there was a way to bottle some of her "I'm not going to let you upset me" attitude to share with my own kids and quite honestly even with myself.
I think her daughter is a wonderful example that there will always be people who are out to try and hurt us, but we really do have the choice on whether to let their comments into our heart or not. So are you a duck who lets the "water roll off your back"? Or are you someone who lets what others say get to you? Personally I think I need to still work on learning how to quack a bit better. : -)