Nov 5, 2010 Post By: Children's Health

A costume is just A Costume and Bullying is Bullying

You may have read the powerful blog from a mom whose 5-year-old boy dressed up as Daphne from “Scooby-Doo” for a Halloween party.

In the blog, the mom rails against bullying she and her son received at his school for wearing a “girl’s” costume. While his costume was OK with the other kids in school, the Missouri mom says it was the other moms who bullied her about her son’s choice.

Be mindful of how you treat others, our expert says

Regardless of what you think about the kid’s costume choice, the real issue is how we behave toward each other. It’s about the Golden Rule: Treat others as you want to be treated.

Crista Wetherington, a psychologist from Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, had this to say about the mom’s experience: “It’s really important to be mindful of how you treat other people because that models behaviors for your own child. The point is that these moms were not accepting of her son’s costume choice and that they were therefore behaving negatively.”

Wetherington says she doesn’t think the other moms were intentionally trying to be bullying but that their comments were hurtful because they weren’t monitoring what they said as carefully as they could have been.

She noted that one of the other mom’s concerns was about the child and his welfare. Even the boy’s mom said her child became concerned that he might be made fun of for his costume choice. “At such a young age, he already knows that people aren’t always accepting of who you are,” Wetherington said, adding: “These preschoolers were more accepting than their parents. While kids tend to accept what’s in front of them when they’re that little, adults may not.”

The blog has gone viral and has had more than 1 million hits plus heavy media coverage. There have been more than 19,000 comments on the blog, the majority of them supportive of the mom and her son’s choice. The mommy blogger told CNN that she never expected such an uproar over the blog.

What do you think about parents who exhibit bullying types of behaviors?