Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Kids can be so cruel

My oldest two children trade insults frequently.  I think it's a byproduct of being at high school.  Every mealtime, every afternoon walking home from school, and every evening across the hallway from bedroom to bedroom, the insults fly.  Irritating as it is, I know to take it all with a very large pinch of salt. It is (mostly) meant in jest.

Occasionally it gets a little out of hand as DS1 (the eldest) can take things further than his sister is prepared to accept.  She is learning to fight her corner pretty well, however.  One afternoon, a few weeks ago, DS1 came home with an invitation to the Mathematics Society at school.  Of course I was proud.  DD1 had a different take on things - "you're joining the nerd herd!" she said.  DS1, almost embarrassed by this, and keen to get his own back, then started an exchange of insults beginning "you're so stupid that...".  The insults came thick and fast, getting more and more cutting until eventually I called a halt to it all.

An invitation to the nerd herd - no black tie required

What they hadn't realised is that for some time they have had a small pupil, watching and learning everything they do.  DS2, my third child, who is somewhat forgotten in the way that third children often are.  His confidence in dealing with other children, who might sometimes be unkind, is suddenly becoming quite apparent.  I think this is largely down to watching how his siblings react and knowing what to do to hold his own ground with them.

So, not being able to resist trying this new skill out, in a well timed retort to both his siblings he chimed in with "you're so stupid that you took a donut back to the shop because it had a hole in it!"

Slightly taken aback, not realising that he had been listening, DS1, DD1 and I all burst out laughing.  DS2 looked quite pleased with himself.  It was a wonderfully executed example of how as a third born he is able to exude the confidence required to make his own stamp on things.

Most people think that third children are a bit hard done by, left to their own devices and I suppose to a certain extent that might be true.  I think third children are just better at watching and learning, getting ready for whatever might be thrown at them.  A different type of preparation for life, but no less valid than any other.

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