My son informed me that a child at school hears stories at home from their parent(s) about how I’m a compromiser, I’m weak, and that I’m not good at my job. This child, according to Kyle, doesn’t quite know what to think about all that. I told my son to smile back and shower this (truly great) kid with love. The fact that I adore this kid makes it all the more notable for me.
Not sure if I’m annoyed at the whole thing, feel pity for the parent, or am amused that someone thinks I’m important enough to talk about but not talk to.
Telling slander to your kid knowing it might spread through the class and get back to that parent through their own child is less-than-classy, though. I was surprised as my wife and I try VERY hard teach our kids to respect and care about others and believe the best (like the Scriptures tell us to) until we find out otherwise.
It was one of those parenting moments where I felt like it was more important that my son know it’s not always important to defend yourself. It’s not the first time I’ve been attacked. When I was appointed to the State Board of Education, a hateful blogger lied about me and tried to paint me in a negative light. What really made my eyes roll, however, was that this blogger than tried to connect with me on LinkedIn a week or two later. I declined. The lesson I learned with that blogger, however, is that I made the right choice to ignore it. If I had defended myself, or fought back, I would not have changed him and he would have had additional readers to his blog I had sent his way. I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of additional traffic. Does that prove I’m weak or point to the fact that I might be trying to stay above board?
I’d love to see comments on this post about moments like this with your children. Moments where your children had to learn to either stand up for themselves or ignore the criticism. Moments when your child heard something negative about you from a friend or in public. What did you do?
I admit that when I initially hear about someone spewing vitriol about me, I get fired up, although it doesn’t last very long. I can respect people who come right up to you and let you know their concerns or call you out on what they think you need to be called out about. It shows courage and offers the person a chance to dialogue. It allows for one or both parties to be right or wrong. It’s usually unaccountable, hateful, and immature people who don’t tell you to your face. Why would I give anyone like that power over me? The only reason I’m spending this much time talking about my couple of haters is because I’m hopeful that it might encourage you and/or your kids as you deal with the same thing. It is, after all, a very first-world problem to worry about a random hater or two and we must keep it in perspective. If we speak truth in love…we’ll have haters on every side. Haters gonna hate…
“The one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever utters slander is a fool.” – Proverbs 10:18
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