Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chicken Pak Pak Pak

Ever since Gooly was mobile, I knew he was not those adventurous, jump-now-die-later kinda kid.

Nope, he wont jump off from the top fridge shouting GERONIMO while pretending to be Cicakman.

He is just not that kind who climbs trees and falls and claims glory thru blood and scars.

He is the sort who thinks going on a swing is a pretty brave thing to do.

For me, it's ok. That's who he is. He is careful and cautious. And frankly, I am relieved that I don't have any heart-attack moments upon learning the many Tony Jaa stunts that some boys love to do.

Sad to say, society expects more of a boy - Boys don't cry and boys definately have no fear! *roll eyes* You know, all those gender stereotyping dated probably when Chairman Mao shouted, "Men bleed blood but not horse' pee!" (translated and unreliable resources).

And so, Gooly has, on numerous times been challenged, "Why are you scared (to jump off the roof).. My daughter is not scared of anything , you know.."

And of late, he's been called - yeap...a chicken.

I have learned long ago to ignore people's words. Especially those from a bitch's mouth. I wasn't palpably upset because I admit, Gooly IS afraid of clowns, heights, dark, rides (and me.)

Meanwhile, Gooly, being a kid of course was upset with the teasing. And confused probably. "Why they heck you call me a chicken for?"

What I did was a long list of things:

1. acknowledge his fear - It's ok to have fears. Even Moms have fears. (I am afraid of ghosts and chinese parsleys).

2. acknowledge his hurt - Yes, it's mean to hurt. But we cannot control what other people think or say. (But we can put out banana skin and make them slip)

3. counter attack - People say mean things and they expect reactions. If you get angry or upset or sad, they will tease you even more. So either ignore it, or counter it with a joke or a smart remark.

Eg: You are a chicken!
"Indeed I am. Pak! Pak! Pak!"

Eg: You have so many scars on your legs. Look at the coins!"
"Ohhhh! I am rich if that was true."

I don't know how soon he will learn how to give retorts (to other people, not me!). I hope soon.

On a related matter, I understand that Moms are more receptive of their children's characters.But men's perspective can be rather different. I was rather apprehensive about Papah's feelings. He is afterall a giant troll , looking fearsome instead of fearful.

I was glad that he understood Gooly's feelings, and admitted his own fears (ME with his credit card). We spoke about phobias, and how some people deal with fears.

I am super proud that we have approached this matter delicately, instead of the easy, "Nothing to scared. Not shy ar you!" and the classic, "Boys not scared of anything one!"

And I hope we sent the message that we accept and love him just the way he is - with all his fears or or even when he turns fearless.

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