A Question for Parents – Children and their friends, or that stinky kid in the corner

Landon, my son, has a young man in his class who is obviously from a lower income family. The young man is a loner, new, and from what I can tell, has an odor problem. You and I know these type of children.

Maybe the parents are really trying hard, but just not making it. I cannot say.

But, what would you do? Would you encourage your child to be their friend or just an acquaintance? From what I understand, some kids are picking on this young man, but he is saying nothing. Landon, admittedly, has played the ‘you touched the stinky kid and got what they got’ game, at least once. I am not happy about that.

So, what would you do?

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8 Replies to “A Question for Parents – Children and their friends, or that stinky kid in the corner”

  1. let me tell you a little story. when i was in the 4th grade there was a girl in our class just like that. smelled, never brushed her hair, wore the same clothes every day. a pitiful child that everyone teased. kids are awful. i was awful to her.

    at christmas she brought a candy cane for everyone in class. i know her family couldnt afford it and while the rest of us were sharing better gifts, thats all she had to give.

    do you know what we all did? we went out at play time, called her over, and stomped those candy canes into the ground, laughing all the while.

    even though it was when i was 9 years old, i remember it like it was yesterday and im, to this day, profoundly ashamed of myself for taking part in that bit of inhuman cruelty.

    all that to say- tell landon that if he isn’t nice to her, if he’s mean to her like everyone else is, he will regret it his entire life. he really will.

    if i could find that girl id apologize till my mouth dried up..

    tell him.

  2. I’d beat him senseless. 🙂 No, in all seriousness, have him show the love of Christ. Ask him if he’s ever been picked on, (if he hasn’t, he’s picking on people), and ask him how it feels, especially when it can’t be helped. I wouldn’t FORCE him, but invite the kid over. Befriend his parents..maybe u can minister to them by showing THEM the love of Christ. There are a lot more stinky kids nowadays with the economy. Or it may even be neglect. Drug addicts usually don’t care about their own hygeine let alone their progeny…we’ve “adopted” quite a few kids his way, and have helped their moms, usually without any success, but we have points for trying…

  3. Jim, I did the same thing, because for once I wasn’t on the receiving end. We had a stinky girl we called “Shamu”..I apologized to her on facebook about a year ago….35 years later..she didn’t remember me doing it..but she remembered the other people who did it to her for the next 7 years.

  4. I’m with Jim. The kid everyone picked on when I was in 8th grade was Ryan. In 8th grade, I was pretty bad, too. In 9th grade I tried to make up for some of it, but I still feel bad about what we did. 8th grade was a long time ago …

    So, yeah, I’m with Jim. He needs to know that this stuff will stay with him.

  5. Tell him to be nice. But, also privately express your concerns to the proper people at the school. Perhaps offer some kind of help privately. But, he should be nice.

  6. I did something similar. In elementary school, I joined a group of kids in teasing another kid who had warts all over his body. I hadn’t thought of it lately, but I have always been ashamed of that. I can’t imagine the hurt that kid felt. 20-something years later…

  7. This is in the same league sort of. Because Facebook allows you to find people from all over, I was recently looking up a kid I knew in Elementary school..vinny. He was fat and he smelled and everyone teased because he was a big lug..you know the type…kind of like Chunk in Goonies. I picked on him once, and he then beat me up..I found out last February that he committed suicide a couple of years ago. I IMMEDIATELY blamed myself. I doubt that one incident 30 years ago caused it, ..but I felt so bad that a 35 yr old man had to commit suicide

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