Phil, a SAHD, has posted today on a recent episode of meanness. As the father of a 14 month old girl, I was saddened to read his post describing such brute coldness by a group of 9 year old girls toward his 5 year old daughter. It caused me to reflect on what I might have done, or would like to think I should do, given I was in a similar position.

The answer is I’m not sure. Of course, I’m not responsible for the actions of others. I do hope, however, that the barrage of encouragement and torrents of love I seek to pour out on my daughter every day would help to build up some level of immunity to any permanent scars, despite the initial distress. I do hope that I would not over-react … or under-react. I do hope that I might affirm her beauty. I do hope that I might bring calm to the situation. I do hope that I would not ignore the victim in the cause of justice. I do hope that she might develop a worldview and a realistic view of fallen human being (well illustrated in the films Lord of the Flies and Shrek) through which she might look at the world hopefully in spite of so many reasons to despair. I do hope that she might not grow up to be mean herself.

What would you do?