…Son and dad playing video game together…
Son: (pause the game) Daddy, some of my classmates look down on me. They say I am useless. One even say that I am dumb and slow. Am I?
Dad: Are you?
Son: I really don't know dad. I sometimes feel that way. I am definitely not the sharpest tool in the shed.
Dad: Or the brightest spark in a Christmas light-up?
Dad: Or the fastest sprinter in the racetrack?
Son: Erm...something like that.
Dad: Or the strongest...
Son: Dad you are not helping.
Dad: Helping who?
Son: Me? I just told you how I feel.
Dad: I am just describing how you feel.
Son: But I feel worse now.
Dad: Are you looking to me to make you feel better?
Son: Well, you are the father. You should know what to say to make me feel better right?
Dad: Tell me what I should say to make you feel better?
Son: I don’t know.
Dad: Try son.
Son: Well, for a start, you can say that they are wrong.
Dad: Are they?
Son: Yes of course. I mean I'm not useless.
Dad: What do you mean?
Son: I mean what I mean dad!
Dad: Convince me.
Son: Erm...I may not be perfect but I am not all that bad.
Dad: What is good about you son?
Son: ...I have helped people. I consider myself kind, sometimes caring. And I do my best in all that I do...at least that's what some of my friends said about me. And you...how about you?
Son: Yes you. You.
Dad: What about me?
Son: You said never to look down on yourself. You did say that before right? You can't deny that can you? And mommy too.
Dad: Why get your mother involved in this?
Son: Why not? You afraid?
Dad: OK, what did mommy say about you?
Son: She said before that what counts in life is that you do your best and you are honest about that.
Dad: And if you have tried your best, so what?
Son: Well, I can't be everything to everyone. I have to live my own life my way and not live up or feel bad about the opinions that others have of me right? I don't need their permission to be happy.
Dad: Don’t their opinion count?
Son: Sorry Dad, you're not too bright today. Neither the sharpest nor brightest. Their opinions don't. I don't live to please them. I just do my best.
Dad: Why not?
Son: Are you okay?
Dad: Well, if I say that you are slow or dumb, are you?
Son: Coming from you? Come on dad, you are playing with me right?
Dad: No, I sometimes really think so.
Dad: I am serious. I can be honest right?
Son: You really think so?
Dad: Well I do have my doubts son...at times.
Son: Well, I may not be up there with the geniuses but I am no dumb donkey if that's what you're thinking. And thanks a lot for the vote of confidence dad.
Dad: How do you feel now son?
Son: I feel like crap actually especially after talking to you.
Dad: But son, why do you come to me then?
Son: Because I thought you could help me.
Dad: Aren’t I helping?
Son: ...to make me feel this way? No thanks man. I rather go for a root canal.
Dad: How do I make you feel son?
Son: You just said that I'm dumb and you have your doubts about me! Are you playing dumb with me?
Dad: But you just said that you have to live your own life your way and not live out the opinions of what others think of you...especially those opinions that arise out of insecurity, envy and personal agenda.
Son: Now you’re telling me all this?
Dad: (smiles) And mommy has told you before to do your best and be honest about it, right?
Son: I said that earlier actually…
Dad: Yes you did. And I am also learning from you.
Dad: Yes, you have taught me today more than I wish to admit.
Son: You mean all that stuff I said and what mommy said?
Dad: Yes son. I can be taught too...not just you.
Son: So people's opinion doesn't count?
Dad: Not those that doesn't help. True friends encourage with words and deeds. They don't insult or condemn you just because they don't feel good about themselves or you.
Son: That's exactly what I think dad!
Dad: And in life, you do your best because you can't be everything to everyone.
Son: That's right dad! Right on the money! And that's the reason why when you think I am dumb, I don’t care. I know myself better. I may not be perfect but at least I care enough to do my best.
Dad: Yes son. Well said son. I am proud of you.
Son: Dad, you don't really think I am dumb right?
Dad: No...although you do have your dumb moments, you're far from being dumb. I just wanted you to be sure about that.
Son: So you feel better now?
Dad: Yes I do. I feel much better son. And I love you too.
Son: ...erm...I love you too dad and mommy too.
Dad: Mm...so what were we talking about?
Son: ...I think it was about some bullying and feeling lousy...
Dad: You feel lousy now?
Son: Honestly, not anymore actually. Strangely, I feel better now...much better.
Dad: So, can we go back to our soccer match?
Son: Oh...forgot about that. Sure. Get ready old man, I am bringing on the pain!
(After playing for a while...)
Dad: Yes son.
Son: Thank you for being my dad.
Dad: Thank you for allowing me to be your dad.
Son: I love you.
Dad: Love you too.