The mama-bear in me wanted to roar, but I hesitated right inside the screen door to hear how he would react. I swelled with pride as he calmly and very kindly replied, "I am not stupid. Now do you want to play tag or not?" The girl then played freeze tag with him for 20 minutes and left asking if she could play with him again.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phil 4:8
Spider-man very quickly identified the idea of him being "stupid" as a lie because he knew the truth of who he was. We learn what reality truly is not by learning lies, but by focusing intensely on the truth.
It seems to me that it is a false assumption that encountering lies on an everyday basis will somehow prepare our kids to see the truth.
Experts who are paid to identify counterfeit money spend their days studying the real money. Their minds are so filled with what the true money looks like that when a counterfeit comes their way, it is easily seen as false. I believe this is applicable when training our kids to identify lies....we teach them the truth. In our experience, pouring truth in to your child's heart is much more effective means to prepare them for every lie the world will throw at them.
IN the incident above, my son knew truth about himself. he knew he was not stupid, because we tell him all the time that smart is not something you are, is is something you do. I was thankful we had helped him study the truth about who God made him enough, that when a counterfeit came along, he was able to see it for what it was...a lie.
And update on the girl who teased Spiderman:
We found out after the fact these girls do not live near us, but walk to their grandmother's house after school two houses down to wait for their mother to get off work. Since their unkind introduction, they now come to our house EVERY WARM DAY. In that time, I have heard my boys share the golden rule with the sisters while they were fighting, share the fact they were Christians, and invite the girls to church. Through many kind and consistent corrections, the girls now know what to expect when they visit. These girls who began our relationship with rudeness and demanding behavior (i.e. "Get me water!") now ask kindly for drinks of water, clean up the toys they play with before they go home to their grandmother, and are sweet to my boys. My husband always says "Kids will rise or fall to an adult's expectations". These girls have risen, and I pray we continue to have a voice in their lives.