"We do not say such mean things to each other. We play nice" The we in question here were two little children, age ages, nine and seven. They both wanted to play something, couldn't agree and ended up telling each other to 'shut up, stupid'. Not really the crime of the century, I would say. But then again, what do I know?
I am not a trained psychologist, nor am I a very new age, politically correct, sensitive mother. I mean, mother yes, but not the other parts. I too have read quite a few books and visited sites on 'how to', 'what to', 'when to' on bringing up children. I have also read 'coral island' and 'Lord of the flies'. The only thing that really works though is common sense though- for me anyway. But then coming back to what do I know... well, I do know my own childhood. I do know that my brother (and only sibling, three yrs my junior) had major fights. We yelled at each other (that was the least of it) we called each other names ( nothing really vile and mostly to do with a deficiency in intellect 'idiot, moron,stupid' were perennial). I have wept and he has stormed away. We both have threatened each other with dire consequences and (probably, to our parents secret delight with the peace and quiet, not spoken to each other on occasion).
Today, we are both in our forties and have a great big laugh most of the times we meet. Very often, it is about the crazy things we said and did in our childhood. I know for sure that he will be there when and if I need him. As for the so called mean things we said to each other, I cannot even remember what they were, leave alone them leaving eternal scars on my psyche.
I definitely do not have all the answers and can blame all the grey and thinning of my hair on my children and their antics. Yet, I am sure that even they know, that calling the other stupid does not make him so. After all, is it not important to teach children that they are what they think and not what others call them?