Monday 26 September 2016

'I bet he likes you' - Mother slams hospital worker who told girl (4) it was ok that a boy had punched her

David Kearns

Published 11/10/2015 | 13:13

Merritt Smith said she did not want her daughter to think violence was a way to show affection Credit: Merritt Smith
Merritt Smith said she did not want her daughter to think violence was a way to show affection Credit: Merritt Smith

A mother has received widespread praise for her response to a hospital worker telling her 4-year-old daughter “I bet he likes you” after a boy hit her so hard she required snitches.

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Merritt Smith had to take her four-year-old daughter to the hospital after she was hit by a boy at school.

While they checked in, a man at the front desk heard about what happened and told Merritt’s daughter: “I bet he likes you.”

Upset over the comment, Ms Smith took to Facebook to respond - explaining that while it may have been meant well, she felt the comment was unacceptable as it sets up a culture where violence is just accepted as a boy trying to show his affections.

She wrote: “Dear man at the registration desk at Nationwide Children’s hospital, l’m positive that you didn’t think that statement through.

“As soon as I heard it I knew that is where it begins. That statement is where the idea that hurting is flirting begins to set a tone for what is acceptable behaviour.

"I bet he likes you."Dear man at the registration desk at Children's hospital, l'm positive that you didn't think that...

Posted by Merritt Smith on Tuesday, 6 October 2015

“My four year old knows ‘That’s not how we show we like someone. That was not a good choice’.”

Ms Smith’s response to the man has since gone viral, and shared more than 30,000 times.

The mom, who lives in Ohio in the United Sates, continued: “In that moment, hurt and in a new place, worried about perhaps getting a shot or stitches you were a person we needed to help us and your words of comfort conveyed a message that someone who likes you might hurt you," she continued.

"No. I will not allow that message to be ok. I will not allow it to be louder than 'That's not how we show we like each other’.”

In another post Ms Smith added: "The hospital responded to my email.

"They thanked me for my feedback, acknowledged they had never thought of that situation in that light and consider it food for thought."

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