I'm not sure if I'll ever get over the look in my daughter's eyes when she realizes someone is being mean to her. I suppose one day the look will disappear as she gets older, wiser, more jaded, but after 7 years as a mom, I still struggle to explain why people do cruel things. I wonder how Patricia Quintana explained to her 7-year-old why someone created a Facebook page that said he was dead.
Little Javier Ramirez is -- fortunately -- very much alive. But his mom started getting strange phone calls recently from hysterical friends who'd seen a memorial page on the social media site that said her son had been killed in a car accident.
Police have been investigating, and it seems like two teenagers who once went to daycare with Javier are to blame for creating the fake page they named R.I.P. #Liddo Honest. They thought it would be funny, not anticipating how this would affect his mom or how it might make the little boy feel. I'm betting they didn't expect 8,500-some people to "like" the page either.
But now little Javier does know about this, and when I watched him in TV interviews, he seemed confused. I can't blame him. I'm an adult, and I don't see the humor in all of this. I can't begin to guess why someone would make a Facebook page claiming a live person was dead, least of all a little kid. It's macabre humor at best, just plain sick at worst.
The trouble is these kinds of screwed up stories exist all around us, and we can't shield our kids from all of it.
Just like Javier, my daughter does hear about some of the bad things that happen. I can't help that, and if I'm really honest with myself, I know I shouldn't help it all.
The best we can do is give them homes full of love to counteract the bad, try to hide the worst of it, and let it in dribs and drabs so they can slowly begin to develop that hard shell you have to hide inside to live in such a callous world. Meanwhile, we have to teach them that they need to be the better person, be kind, generous, loving people ... the kind of people who would be horrified by a fake Facebook page that claims an innocent (and alive!) 7-year-old is dead.
Listen to this poor little guy trying to make sense of this:
How do you talk to your kids about cruelty in the world?
Image via NBCLA
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside