There’s a particular little boy that Sean plays with sometimes who I would describe as “all boy”. He is a bit more rough and tumble than Sean and uses language that we don’t use try not to use don’t approve of at our house.
Periodically, Sean will tell me he doesn’t like playing with Billy and then gives me an earful of what kinds of things this little guy says. With great judgment and condemnation Sean reports that Billy calls him a poo poo head and says idiot and butt and that he doesn’t like that.
He looks to me for agreement.
I can see in his face he wants me to jump on his bandwagon and say, “Yeah! That Billy!” But I don’t say it. Out loud. He then folds his arms across his chest with a harrumph, furrows his brow and pokes out his bottom lip to demonstrate the disdain he has for Billy.
I stop what I’m doing and look into his face. “Well Sean, some people use those kinds of words, but we don’t. We don’t think those are nice words,” I tell him.
“Well I’m not going to play with him anymore!” he says and harrumphs his arms to his chest again, this time adding a little foot stomp for effect.
“You know Sean, sometimes it’s better to continue to play with someone and just try to be a good example by being kind and not using ugly words,” I tell him. As I say this, I realize it’s asking a lot of a four-year-old.
And then I add, “But sometimes, you just have to find someone else to play with.”
He considers this for a moment.
“Well the next time he calls me a poo poo head, I’m just going to strut away!”
The mental image of Sean Travolta strutting across the playground made me laugh.
And then the mental image of a strutting Christian made me queasy.