Words

Bitch...Bastard...Fucker All of these words have been used against Miguel this summer at camp, used against him by other 6 and 7 year old boys.  Though he didn't know what they meant, they hurt him anyway because the tone with which they were spoken clearly sent an angry and hateful message.  Miguel is no saint and, after initially expressing his disapproval of such language, he tried it out at home. As a result, we have spent a lot of time this summer talking about language...a lot of time that could have been spent drinking gin and tonics on the patio. We tried responding in an authoritarian manner but it was largely ineffective. So, we had to find other approaches and moved to a broader coversation about why such language is disrespectful. That means, we defined words and gave details regarding their historical and cultural context. This is so time consuming and, at times, I will admit that I wished for simpler times...times when the "Stop Swearing or I Am Going to Beat Your Ass" parenting technique ruled the day. Our time investment did pay off, however, and we emerged from the struggle. Miguel seems to understand and the words at the top of this page have been banished from our home.

Then, Tuesday he came home and told us that someone had called him a faggot.  On the bright side, it took 10 weeks for faggot to come out. The flip side, of course, is that pesky homophobia. There is so much more talking to do...