"That's a Dumb Thing to Say" Published 2009-07-16 under culture
The other day, I was at the market, and as I was walking to the Deli counter, I overheard a woman admonish her daughter with "That was a dumb thing to say!". My heart sank. The look on the child's face made me want to cry.
I like to think that this parent meant no harm, that she usually has very loving things to say to her daughter. But the incident remains with me. I shared it at a meeting with some teachers later that day. The mutual reaction was a group moan. It was clear to them that such comments (often said in the heat of the moment) build an image the child has of herself.
I wonder what that Mom's reaction would have been had I asked her "Is your daughter dumb?". You can see how one might get that impression from your comment.