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When my Son said, “I’m the Bad Guy!”

Playground is a place where kids and also adults are to have fun – but I was wrong – because this is the place when my son has uttered 4 words that I don’t want him to say – and think – and it crushed my heart!

Today, my husband and I decided to have a walk with our 3 years old son. We’re so happy to be in touched with nature again. We learned about leaves; different shapes, textures and colors. My son who is a dog lover, patted all the dogs we came across (of course with the owner’s permission). With his gentle touch and love for dogs, the owners were pleased with him. We said “thank you” for allowing him to pat their adorable dogs because it’s just polite to do that. We were so happy – stress free – and never expected this to turn around.

After we walked into a bushy walkway, we went to the playground where we usually go. My son happily rode his strider around the bike lane by himself. He then noticed 3 children playing together. There’s 1 boy and 1 girl around his age and a 2 years old girl. They looked like they’re cousins or probably their grandmothers were friends, I’m not sure, but somehow they’re related to each other.

Anyway, I was so happy when I saw my son eventually got interested in playing with them but still kept his distance. He was on his strider riding behind them. I told my husband, “Look at him, I think he’s really ready for school.” I was proud! Until, the girl looked back and shouted, “He’s a bad guy!” while pointing to my son. What? My son’s a bad guy? Hold on a minute!

I looked closely and I supervised my kids every second. Not in my Mama’s time have I let my eyes lay on others except my kids. I always make sure that I see every move they do. I know my son didn’t do anything wrong. Why are they calling my son – the bad guy? I can’t comprehend!

My Mama heart got hurt. It’s like I got pierced with a very pointed spear through my heart. Who’s not going to feel that way? I raised my child to be a good person – told him what’s right and wrong. I always teach him about values and morals.

I know I’m overreacting! I’m aware that that was just a game and that they’re just pretending that my son – who they appointed to be the “bad guy” was going after them and they’re going to run away from him. I know that…

This is one of the instances that my son needs to deal with as a person. How is he going to react when someone calls him names or bullies him in the future? This is a good opportunity for me to see how it goes. I’m interested.

At first, he didn’t understand what’s going on? He thought there was someone else they’re calling “a bad guy.” The girl didn’t stop on building her own plot. She kept calling my son “a bad guy.” The other boy she’s with, looked at me and said to her, “He’s not a bad guy!” I sighed in relief and told myself… Aaahhh, Thank you for pointing that one out!

They continued striding around the lane, until they stopped in one spot… the girl insisted my son was a “bad guy.” My son finally disagreed and said, “I’m not a bad guy!”

Yes! That’s it my son, you tell them!

By looking at them from afar, I know my son was handling it really well. I know he can do this without me interfering. I reminded myself that it’s only a game. Don’t be too protective, Mom. He got this one!

So they parted their ways and played in the playground for a little bit. My son who was secretly born a monkey was busy swinging in the monkey bars and in the flying fox. I was calmed at this stage because my son is with me and nobody can hurt his feelings whenever he’s on my side. Sorry by saying that I really feel hurt at this point but at the same time I’m letting it go, as I know this is nothing serious. But do you feel the same way too when someone told your child, he’s a bad guy! I hope I’m not the only one on this because if there’s nobody out there feeling the same thing as mine – I would think I need to see a doctor.

Never in my entire life, I want to hear this to be told to any of my children as I tried my very best to bring up my kids with good values.

Again, I want to stress out that I understand that this happened unintentionally. Kids are kids, and to me they’re innocent enough to plot a scene that would hurt others’ feelings. Call me overprotective or overreacting Mom or any other names as you wish but I just want to point out that this is one of the situations where Moms do get hurt even in the simplest ways especially when it comes to their children.

One thing I don’t get is when the grandmothers on the bench let their grandchildren picked on my son. Why on earth let their children say – my son was a bad guy (even if it’s a play – I can’t accept it!)? I want to believe that the grannies can’t hear what the kids were saying and that’s why they’re not doing anything about it. If my kids would ever say something bad to other people (which is unlikely to happen), I would stop them from saying it or even ask them to say sorry if they already said it. I’m an advocate of spreading kindness! So I think it’s just best to teach our kids to be polite, playing or not.

You know, I let this go and told myself, I can’t defend my son on this occasion as this is a “PLAY” – a CHILDREN’s PLAY! I don’t want to pull out my son away from this for I know this would not be the first time he will encounter something like this. This time I just want him to deal with it.

Today, he innocently accepted the appointed character he was given by the director (girl). I got that – but what I can’t accept is when my son said proudly,

“I’m the Bad Guy!”

For a second, my heart paused and crushed.

I slowly picked up the broken pieces and came to my senses and do you know what I did?

I grabbed my son, faced him in front of me and said firmly,

“Hey, You are NOT the Bad Guy, okay?”

My son replied, “I’m the bad guy!”
(referring to what the children told him he was).

I said in a calm and firm voice (but in the back of my head I was angry at what the children has instilled in his innocent brain) –

“No, you’re not a bad guy! Even if it’s just a game, I don’t want you to think that you are a bad guy because you are not, okay!”

I can see the innocence in my son’s eyes… He didn’t understand what’s happening. He didn’t even mean what he said. He wasn’t aware that I was hurt because of this.

My Mommy heart was frozen… it didn’t beat for seconds…

I was trying to convince myself that I’m just overreacting… This is nothing but a simple kids game and that I’m just giving it a different meaning. I asked my husband if I was thinking right – just for my sanity because sometimes I only listened to what I believe in – especially when it comes to parenting. My husband reassured me that it’s just a game and that I was making it a big deal – but also it’s not nice for the kids to insist that my son is the bad guy. It’s also wrong that the guardians of those kids didn’t stop them from saying that, and that it’s okay if I feel hurt about this. I thank my husband for that… at least I know I’m still sane!

Leaving the playground is the best thing I can do for my son and myself right now. It’s so amazing how kids are so innocent on things like this while adults have given it a different meaning. It always amazes me how kids think and react. I underestimated my son – he managed to deal with those kids by just ignoring what they’re saying (because in my son’s innocent brain – he’s not really a bad guy) and played with them even if he was an outcast.

Well done my son!

I was a bit stressed today because of this.. I found myself irritated with little things for a bit and will be okay in a second. At the end of the day, I just pray that the “I’m a bad guy!” thing stayed there and ended there – and as a parent – I don’t want to see those kids again!

Kidding aside, as parents, let’s teach our children to say only good things to others –kids or adults, and if they don’t have anything good to say – let’s remind them to keep it within themselves.

Have you experienced the same thing with your children?
How did you cope with it?
Please let me know in the comment box below… Hope to hear your own story!

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