You’re A Man, Toughen Up
“Hello, my name is Fahad, and I am 6 years old. Today I bring with me this glass ball to show you all.” Fahad babbled, extending his arms out, holding a snow globe with both hands. Fahad continues with a breathy voice and a contagious smile: “My mommy brought this ball for me from when she went to London. When you shake the ball, it starts to snow inside.” His demeanor changes. “She also said to me that I have to be very careful not to throw it. If I throw it, it will break.” He concludes.
“You can go back to your seat now,” said Nora, the first-grade teacher.
Fahad tiptoes to his seat, keeping his full attention on his snow globe, making sure he doesn’t drop it.
“Your toy is stupid,” a disembodied whisper states.
Fahad starts to look over his shoulder when he gets shoved from the side, dropping his precious snow globe in the process. It shatters into too many pieces.
“Children, move away from the glass,” Nora ordered as she barricaded the area around the shattered glass.
Fahad stands by the shattered glass staring at it, sobbing.
“Fahad, you’re a man. Men don’t cry.” She shouted, humiliating him in front of the entire class.
On his walk home, Fahad vowed to never express a single emotion again.
Words can change a kid’s brain. I believe we should pay very close attention to the language we use to speak to kids. Let’s make an effort to be aware of how we communicate and how our words can affect others. Let’s remove the social stigma of expressing emotions.