The 39-year-old mother of two shared how she turned her son's incredibly racist anecdote into a valuable life lesson.
One of the main things parents need to remember is that from the moment they welcome a child into their lives, they assume the role of a life-long teacher. As those responsible for raising the child into a polite, empathetic, and kind member of society, they need to be careful about their own actions and words since they are a living example for the young one. Some folks, however, tend to forget this part of their parental duties and let their offsprings get away with all kinds of problematic behavior without attempting to correct them. Reddit user SnooPaintings9288 is not one of them.
The 39-year-old mother of two took to Reddit last year to share how she turned her son's incredibly racist anecdote into a valuable life lesson. "About a week ago, my family ordered Chinese food for delivery. When the delivery driver came to the door, my (16-year-old) daughter was taking the cat upstairs to put it in her room because he always tries to eat the food," she wrote in a post on the r/AmItheAsshole forum. "My (13-year-old) son loudly says: 'Make sure [to] hide the cat from the Chinese guy!' as I am at the door getting the food from the Chinese delivery driver."
The Redditor revealed that the delivery driver "obviously heard what my son said and was upset by it." Horrified that her son would behave in this manner, she quickly apologized for his racist comment and took the food from them. Once back inside, she said she confronted the teen about his actions. "I told my son that racist jokes were completely unacceptable and very wrong and he refused to admit that he was in the wrong," she wrote. Since the boy refused to admit that he was in the wrong, SnooPaintings9288 was determined to teach him a lesson.
"Later that night I forced my son to write a sincere apology to the delivery driver, (his name was on the receipt) as well as write a one-page paper on Chinese culture and a one-page paper on why racism is perpetuated by racist jokes and stereotypes," she explained. "Then the next day I took him to the restaurant and had him read his apology aloud to the delivery driver as well as give him the papers he wrote." The mom revealed that the gesture meant a lot to the delivery driver.
"The driver was very appreciative of the apology and thanked me for making my son do it," she wrote. "He then told my son about multiple instances where he had faced racist comments and attacks from people while he was a delivery driver." Despite it being the most responsible thing to do as a parent, SnooPaintings9288's decision to punish — and thereby educate — her son was not appreciated by her husband. The 43-year-old allegedly disapproved of making the boy apologize to the delivery driver and got into an argument with his wife over it.
"That night my husband and I got into an argument about me making our son do this," the Redditor recounted. "He told me that it was embarrassing for our son to have to do the apology and that the 'punishment didn't fit the crime.' I told him that it was much more embarrassing for the driver to have to face that kind of racism and racist stereotypes and that our son would get over the embarrassment. I do not condone any kind of hateful thinking in my house, and the fact that my son said that embarrassed me as well. My husband told me that it was 'just a joke' and it wasn't that big of a deal. I feel like I might have overreacted some but I think it's important to help my son understand how what he said was wrong and hurtful."
Unlike the husband, a majority of fellow Redditors were of the opinion that SnooPaintings9288 chose the perfect punishment for the boy. "Your husband's attitude is precisely the problem and is why systemic racism continues to propagate in this country," wrote FinallyKat. "Kudos to you for a very just and well-thought-out lesson for your son, which I hope he can truly learn from and perhaps help solve some of the issues that are breaking our society apart. Perhaps your husband needs to do some similar homework in regards to what racism is and how it harms not simply the people it is directed at, but all people as a whole. Honestly, I am so proud of you for being such an excellent example of a person for your family."