Friday, December 22, 2006

A madman

Someone on the Sonlight forums noted a book our company includes at the Pre-K level in which one character calls another "stupid."

"I don't let my kids call each other such names. Why should I read a book in which the children use such words?" she asked.

The respondents included a diversity of opinions. My own opinion, stated well by others, is that such books or stories provide "teaching opportunities." We read such stories and include the scenes that include such bad behavior not because we want to model bad behavior, but so we can discuss the consequences and implications.

Someone asked, "Would you refuse to read 'Three Blind Mice' since you don't want your children running around with butcher knives? . . ."

The discussion got me thinking.

We are very strong in our house against put-downs.

When one of our daughters was getting married, her fiance's family visited. He had half-acquired our vision for "no put-downs," but it quickly became obvious to all of "us" that his family had no sensitivities about put-downs.

At one point, having just received such a barb from one of his family members, [fiance] turned to Sarita and with a plaintive look on his face said, "'No put-downs'?"

"Yes," she said. And then proceeded, gently but firmly, to tell our daughter's new in-laws that we don't permit that kind of behavior in our house. . . .


I should also mention.

Back when I was in high school, back before I figured out/learned the concepts I present in Dating With Integrity, I had a girlfriend. She would call her sister "dumbhead."

"Don't say that!" I protested.

"I'm only joking!" she said.

I discovered, shortly after, Proverbs 26:18:
Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows and death, so is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, "I was only joking!"
Ever since, that has been my "life verse" against put-downs.
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