I experienced one of those recently when I posted a photo in Mamamia’s parenting Facebook group The Motherish. It was a picture of my 11-year-old son, in his brand new reading glasses.
In my extremely biased opinion, he looked adorable. Unsurprisingly, that belief had not been shared by some of his classmates when he’d worn them to school the previous day. Those children decided to let him know that he “looked like he couldn’t read” (a curious insult, given that the glasses signalled literally that). The name “four eyes” was also bandied around.
And while I could easily dismiss such nonsense talk as rubbish, my son, somewhat self-conscious of his new look, wasn’t quite there yet.
I knew I needed to arm him with some hardcore comebacks. But alas, the only ones I could think of involved some hardcore swear words.
And so, I asked the lovely mums in The Motherish to hit me with their wit. They did what mums do best: give the sagest of advice and lift spirits.
They all advised ignoring the teasers, but also understood that the perfect comeback can stop mean comments from continuing.
Here are some of the best responses these brilliant mums offered:
Remind anyone who asks that Superman wears glasses. - Bec
Laugh and say 'whatever' because you can't get into trouble that way, and you also haven't given the teasers a reaction. - Olivia
My son went through this and found "it's none of your concern" stopped it almost immediately. - Donna
Just say, "They help me see who is worth being friends with." - Joscelynne
"Your face has four eyes" - hit them with randomness to throw them off. - Candice
I'd just agree with them, then keep walking. - Nicole
Girls only make passes at boys who wear glasses! - Dee
Someone also suggested referring to Iron Man's alter-ego, Tony Stark; which, to be frank, I was a little miffed about, because I didn't think of it myself first!
Another mum observed that kids will always have a comment when something's new, and that's true. Of course, my kid needs to learn how to deal with unkind words, as life is full of them. But there's still nothing wrong with giving him the words to play it super cool - or a superhero - as the perfect comeback.
So thanks to all the wonderful mums in The Motherish for helping us do exactly that.