Gay Dads Over React!

Is that overly dramatic?

My son came out of school and said something to the effect that another boy told him he had to have a mother. It seemed odd to me but I immediately got on the defensive. My son has 2 dads and I am waiting for the day that he is bullied for that. Not that anyone really cares in New York City, which is why we choose to raise him here, but it seems that some kids just pick on other kids because that is their nature.

And, my son is big and tough. He is one of the largest kids in the 5th grade at his school, and a tough guy. We have worked for years on his inability to control himself physically so now he instead seems to hold in his feelings. Parent Lesson #1, you just can’t win no matter what you do!

I immediately jumped the gun and confronted the mom. Of course these are kids we know for years, these are not strangers. We happen to live in the middle of Manhattan in an area that is also an incredibly wonderful community. Everyone knows everyone and has for years. We see each other at playgrounds all over the neighborhood.

And the mom got defensive in return. But not defensive for her child, defensive for us! She said she only ever raised her kids with tolerance and was actually upset  that her son would say anything negative in relation to a family with same sex parents. I was thrilled to hear that and smiled inside because this is exactly the type of extra tolerance I had hoped would surround my son in his youth.

Turns out that the other child told my son he had to have a mother because that is how babies are born. And he is right, but we call that person my son’s birth mother, he does not have a mom. My son got defensive because he misconstrued the statement/question from the other boy. This involved 2 boys so it naturally escalated beyond the initial simple statement into a ridiculous argument.

So we all overreacted to a simple and correct statement that just needed explaining to two 10 year old boys. And I fear I never did apologize for jumping the gun myself and not waiting for a full explanantion! Oh well.

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Comments

  1. 1

    I’m adding this story to my “only in New York!” files

  2. 2

    It’s ok, it happens even to us male/female families. I am a Mama Bear when it comes to my kids. Even against my husband, I will fight tooth and nail for my kids and what I believe in and about the way that I wish them to be raised. Man can I be a real bitch sometimes about it. But they are MY kids too, and he has no right to make a decision without hearing my input first.

    I can tell you that my kids are super shielded. I didn’t think that they were, but they are. Matthew isn’t interested in watching the TMNT cartoons or movies. But yet, he likes the action figures and pajamas. And that’s fine with me. He likes batman and spiderman toys, and the things that he’s heard about super heroes from his friends, but he has no interest in watching cartoons about them either. He actually has an interest still in Thomas, though it’s slowly fading. :( He likes Chuggington, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, peppa pig, mickey house clubhouse, and some of the others that I don’t mind watching. He likes Tom and Jerry too sometimes, and sponge bob. But he doesn’t want to watch anything else, and I am fine with that. I am not going to force things on him if he’s not interested. I would love for him to like Star Wars, or something like that, but he’s not ready I guess. He is only 6. But some kids his age are into all of the things I posted above, and more. But my son isn’t. Some people think this is weird. But in some ways, he is helping me to protect his sisters until they too are ready for more.

  3. 3
    NYCSingleMom says:

    Its okay to over react and luckily the mom was open to finding out what happened. So many parents always take the tact that it couldnt be their kid. Kids make such wacky leaps when they say things so I am happy you got to bottom of the kids comment.

  4. 4
    Amy Widner Messick says:

    Ah, yes, I’ve totally jumped the gun on statements, before getting the full story. It happens…we live, we learn! Glad your’s turned out so well!!

  5. 5

    It’s so easy to turn into Mama or Dad Tiger when anything like that involves our cubs. :-) I’d be more concerned about a parent who *wouldn’t* react, Mitch… you did fine, and I’m sure the boy’s mom understood! Your son will have precious memories of you coming to bat for him when these issues come up.

  6. 6

    Ah yes, jumping the gun is an art form in our family. Both mom and dad have a quick temper in this family – dad’s more so than mine – and we jump defensive immediately. Thankfully, however, I have learned to step back and play the impartial party and listen to my sons side of the story and then talk to the other child and get their side of the story. If its something that cannot be worked out then we go and we talk with the other child’s parent(s) and get to the bottom of things. Like Manhattan, we have known our neighbors for years and it helps tremendously when dealing with these issues. Glad yours worked out so well!

  7. 7
    Elizabeth Owens says:

    It is so easy to jump the gun. I was happy to see that this resolved itself and that it was a “misunderstanding” :)

  8. 8

    That is why I am strictly in favor of jump the gun control.

  9. 9

    When it comes to our kids, I think we all may have jumped the gun at some point to protect them. I’ll go into “Superhero” mode for my kids at the drop of our hat. We love them. It’s what we do.

  10. 10
    Karen Propes says:

    Been there, well not exactly but my daughter was bullied because she has two dads. I remarried and I guess at that time people aren’t as liberal as they are now (not all people). I just think its hard on kids. You have raised your son to understand there are bullies and how to handle them. I did the same. My daughter was quiet and so for some reason she got picked on. She came home from middle school and a girl had slapped her across the face and you could still see the redness. We called a Principle and Parent conference. Nothing was done, but i thought you might like the reason she slapped her. She said my daughter’s face hit her hand. I didn’t laugh at the time and was still furious. But now years later the reason still makes me laugh because her Father and Mother sat right there and thought that’s what happened and wanted to know what my daughter was doing to their daughter. Kids….

  11. 11

    I love this story because it’s so rare for anyone to admit that they overreacted. People ended up defending actions that they know were wrong because it’s hard to say I’m sorry, I made a mistake.

    There will always be bigots and bullies, but this story reminds me that there are so many people out there willing to speak up for what’s right.

  12. 12
    Jennifer Shelton says:

    I have over reacted many times :) I love your blog by the way! It is one of my favorites!

  13. 13

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