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Bullying hasn’t been a problem for my son since the initial conversation. In fact, sometimes he tells me that he’s able to deescalate situations thanks to his ability to talk circles around his peers. They come to him for help with schoolwork because he always ‘sounds so smart.’ I’m cool with that —  very cool with that, actually.

These days, the world has enough bullies, and not enough people who can talk meaningfully. I hope our conversation will be one of the first of many. Not necessarily about bad behavior, but about his feelings, fears, and abilities. Those are the conversations every father loves to be a part of, especially with a kid who can talk the way my son does.