On Tuesday morning the kid and I were preparing his summer camp bag when I reminded him to put on his sunscreen. He told me not to worry because he won’t burn and he has not been wearing his sunscreen. Then he proceeds to tell me that a counselor told him that “sunscreen doesn’t work on black people”. Saying that I was pissed would be an understatement. I told him that was the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard and the ALL people need to put on sunscreen especially him because I said so!
I told him to show me who this counselor was when we got to camp. When we arrived the counselor wasn’t there so I left it be. Later that night just to be sure, I asked him again to tell me about the conversation to which he said the same thing. I told him I would talk to the counselor.
This morning when we went to camp as soon as we walked in the door he yells “mommy! that’s the guy who said it!” To my surprise is was an African American counselor. I asked the camp director for permission to speak to that counselor since he was in the middle of helping children. When he walked over I asked him point blank if he had told my son that sunscreen doesn’t work on black people. He denied that he ever said such a thing. I called the kid over and asked him what was said. He repeated verbatim the story he has told me for the past two days. The counselor looked at me and said “I never said that, I never said anything like that” My son says “I heard you say it” and repeated again what he said. After that I dismissed the counselor and gave the kid a hug and a kiss and told him it was ok. He looked so confused as to why this person was saying he didn’t say something that the kid clearly heard him say. He looked at me and said “mommy I think I heard him say that”. That is what crushed me. That my child was second guessing himself because an adult didn’t want to fees up to some dumb shit that he said. My 6-year-old didn’t create that story out of thin air. If he had said ninja warriors stole his sunscreen then maybe. This, he did not make up. I gave him a hug and a kiss and told him to have a wonderful day. When he gets home I will take him out for ice cream and tell him I am proud of him for telling me what happened.
This was a teachable moment for me. I already believed him when he told me what happened so in hindsight when the counselor denied saying what he did, I should not have called my son over and I should have just told him that I believed my son and to please watch what he says. The last thing I want is for the kid to be confused over something he knows he’s right about or believes he’s right with good reason. Even if the counselor was not talking directly to him IF he said that and the kid heard him, then you still said it! Own up to it! Don’t calla 6-year-old a liar especially if they are not lying!!!
I know now, to keep him out of situations where adults lying about stuff is a possibility. Defiantly if I can see that beforehand. I guess this chapter was skipped in the parenting handbook lol