We have been working with Ryan on the idea of intolerance. He dismisses so many people from his worldview — girls, anyone that doesn’t like sports — and we want him to understand that deciding not to like someone based on their interests or gender without getting to know them is a type of intolerance.
He understands intolerance in its darker forms — racism, homophobia — so we hoped this idea would strike a chord and get him to open up his mind a little.
It did strike a chord, but not in the way we intended.
The other day, he pushed the limits a little too far. After one last bad word, Veronica had enough. She began to lecture him in a stern tone, ending with “we’re not going to tolerate this behavior.”
Ryan broke into a huge grin.
“Oh yeah,” he announced, his voice rising in excitement.
“WHO’S BEING INTOLERANT NOW!”
Veronica walked away. I cracked up. I gave him credit for an excellent joke. He was very proud of himself.
When you’re beat, you’re beat. Better to walk away and fight another day.