Merritt Smith was horrified when her 4-year-old daughter, Joni, was hit by a boy in her preschool class with a children’s metal teapot. Joni was left with a cut and a black-and-blue bruise on her cheek.
But if the injury wasn’t traumatic enough, it was what a hospital staff member at the Nationwide Children Hospital in Columbus, OH, told her daughter that fateful day in 2015 that rattled the mom.
While registering her daughter at the front desk, a man standing behind the counter told Joni, “I bet he likes you.”
Smith was furious. Her daughter was just 4 years old and already hearing the excuse that if a man hits you, it’s because he loves you. This kind of thinking, the mother believes, is how so many innocent women fall victims to abusive husbands.
“As soon as I heard it, I knew that is where it begins,” Smith wrote on Facebook. “That statement is where the idea that hurting is flirting begins to set a tone for what is acceptable behavior.”
Smith feared that her young, impressionable daughter might take the man’s words at face value. Regardless of his intentions, it wasn’t a healthy message to send.
“It is time to take responsibility for the messages we as a society give our children,” she continued. “Do not tell my 4-year-old who needs stitches from a boy at school hitting her, ‘I bet he likes you.’ No.”
Smith believes that if a man wants to win over a woman’s heart, he should use affection, not his fists.
Please SHARE this mother’s important message if you believe hurting isn’t flirting.