Teaching Children to Handle (Chicago Cubs) Adversity With Courage, Empathy, and Respect


My daughter came home from school yesterday and mentioned to me a student in her class, Chris*, was making disparaging comments about the Chicago Cubs. Say what? We are a Cubs household; therefore, her statement instantly drew my attention. My daughter asked, “I don’t really like the way Chris* is talking. Should I say something to Chris*?”

I asked my child for some specifics. Apparently, Chris*, a White Sox fan, boos or heckles whenever a Chicago Cubs comment is made during morning announcements, covers his/her eyes when walking by W flags hanging in the school’s hallway, and says nasty comments such as “I hope the Cubs lose.”

After listening to this story (from my child’s perspective), a flood of potential responses to Chris’* behavior came to mind. Here are a few:

  1. Tell Chris* he/she is being an asshole. People don’t like assholes.
  2. Tell Chris* the Sox were champs in 2005, 1917, & 1906. Let somebody else have a turn, you selfish little turd.
  3. Ask Chris* who his/her favorite White Sox players are and then stand in awkward silence
  4. Punch Chris* in the piehole

I did not verbalize any of my suggestions listed above, but simply said “can I get back to you on this?” I really needed to think about how and eight-year-old should politely handle someone who does not have the same beliefs she has.

This holds true for politics, religion, finance, and even the Cubs. Not everyone believes or supports the same values, morals, or sports teams you support. But, how we respond to that adversity must be met with courage, empathy, and respect.

After I had a chance to think about this, I put my mature parental hat on and told my daughter the following:

“A true Cubs fan will hear the noise Chris* is saying and move on from it. A true baseball fan will appreciate the game, recognize the Cubs’ century of struggle, and congratulate on the Cubs’ World Series win. And a true friend will not say unkind things or make fun of something you really like.”

My daughter nodded her head in agreement. Then I added, “And, if Chris* says anything mean spirited today tell him/her that he/she is being an asshole. People don’t like assholes!”


*To protect this child’s anonymity, I have selected the lovely gender-neutral name Chris.

Some Other Fun Posts To Check Out:
For Some It’s Never to Early to Talk (or Sing) About Christmas
Book Dedications:  This Is What I Might Write if I Actually Wrote A Book

When Your Friend’s Better Half Isn’t So Great

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And don’t forget to read my recent Robot Butt post, 10 Chicago Cubs Curses You Never Knew Existed.  I can take credit for numbers 4 & 8.

Filed under: Humor

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