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Old 11-05-2012, 02:55 PM   #21
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Re: handling awkward toddler comments in public?

Probably thought it was an owie. My ds2 thinks moles are owies. I would have just explained, they are just learning, and pointing out things is one of the ways they learn.

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Old 11-05-2012, 07:00 PM   #22
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Re: handling awkward toddler comments in public?

A few weeks ago my hubby took our 9 month old to the park and there was a family there he hadn't seen before. The folks in our neighborhood are very unfriendly (at least to us, we=poor, the rest of the neighborhood=rich, but I digress). Hubby saw this family with a 3-4 year old who was severely disabled and in a wheelchair. Our baby was fascinated with the chair and hubby took him over and asked if their son would mind if our baby said hi. The family was thrilled, after some chitchat they said they rarely go out to the park because it feels like the other adults and children just ignore them. They were very happy to have another child want to be near theirs. It was very touching, the parents even took a picture of our kids together.

This is why I love my hubby, instead of being embarrassed or trying to ignore the situation he made it into a kind and loving experience.

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Old 11-05-2012, 07:34 PM   #23
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My dd has a hemangioma on her nose. Every time we are In public someone comes up and says aw she hurt her nose. I even had one old woman scold me for letting my baby fall and get hurt when she was about 3 months old. Kids do comment but they usually ask what happened. That's no big deal. It's the adults that make me dumbstruck with their comments. I even had a distant relative comment the other night oh look she's Rudolph! What? Yes an adult really made fun of the way my 1 year old looks.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:02 PM   #24
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Re: handling awkward toddler comments in public?

When our kids were young (like toddler age) I didn't really try and go into the why's of a persons handicap/birthmark/amputation. I simply said everybody is different. Some people have blonde hair, some people have brown eyes, some people have light skin etc. DD has repeated this multiple times over the years lol. Now that they are 5.5 and 7 it's a lot easier to explain those things and why you shouldn't point and stare.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:36 PM   #25
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Different isn't really offensive unless you use it in an offensive way. I would just explain that everyone is different. I would start with something simple like skin or eye color differences and then move forward with her brain/body or whatever works differently then yours and end with a positive spin on the other person's difference.

The only innocuous term I am offended by that most people don't think about is "What is wrong with him?" By someone using the word 'wrong' they imply my ds's differences are not acceptable and to me that is offensive but even then I tend to brush it off and ignore the unintended insult unless someone is really obnoxious and even then since my son is only 8 years old himself I usually wind up leaving quickly because I don't want him to see mommy get into it with a stranger.

Honestly, I only tend to really get in a snit over words is with reporters. As experienced word smiths I hold them to higher standard and expect them to be more thoughtful then the general public when representing the community with disabilities in print.
Different is a good word imo because it applies to everyone. All people are different and some people are better at things than others. Some people run fast but dont know how to read and some people s legs work differently so they cant run fast but they read very well.

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My dd has a hemangioma on her nose. Every time we are In public someone comes up and says aw she hurt her nose. I even had one old woman scold me for letting my baby fall and get hurt when she was about 3 months old. Kids do comment but they usually ask what happened. That's no big deal. It's the adults that make me dumbstruck with their comments. I even had a distant relative comment the other night oh look she's Rudolph! What? Yes an adult really made fun of the way my 1 year old looks.
I agree, its the adults that are the worst offenders. So many people ask whats wrong and i will tell you every time my dd is perfect the way god made her. If you are curious (some people think its none of your business but i think more info normalizes disabilities) i would ask if she has a diagnosis. But like i said i am happy to share and some people arent.
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:03 AM   #26
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Re: handling awkward toddler comments in public?

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Different is a good word imo because it applies to everyone. All people are different and some people are better at things than others. Some people run fast but dont know how to read and some people s legs work differently so they cant run fast but they read very well.



I agree, its the adults that are the worst offenders. So many people ask whats wrong and i will tell you every time my dd is perfect the way god made her. If you are curious (some people think its none of your business but i think more info normalizes disabilities) i would ask if she has a diagnosis. But like i said i am happy to share and some people arent.
It is really difficult to know - AS AN ADULT - how to handle these things properly. So many words aren't offensive to some, but are to others. How do I know what words will set off someone's crazy, and which will convey that I'm just trying to show concern and compassion for your child?

Is it EVER appropriate and okay for an adult to make ANY comment about your disabled/challenged child? And how on earth can we ever know what we are "allowed" to say if whenever we DO try to say something, it's "I can't believe they said that... Oh no she Di'int!!!"

It's a REALLY hard subject. Really. I often feel terrible when I see kids in wheelchairs or even worse when I see mentally challenged kids. What is okay and what is not? There's just no right or wrong answer. And some people are so angry over the situation with their kids, and so defensive of their children that NOTHING you say will be right.

So, I think sadly, THIS is what contributes to handicapped people being ignored largely. I'd love to be able to tell a mom at the park pushing her disabled child in a wheelchair how awesome and amazing it is that she takes her child out and about, and how it makes my heart feel happy to see that.... but odds are, I'll use some word that will make her angry, and instead of making her day, I'll just make her angry.

I just smile from a distance and keep my mouth shut.
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:17 AM   #27
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Re: handling awkward toddler comments in public?

Just wanted to share my friend's story. This was when her daughter was about 9. They went to a wake and before going in she told her daughter, "If you have any questions wait until we get into the car and ask me them then." So they go and are in the line to give their condolences to the family and the man who has passed had a daughter who was covered in piercings on her face. My friend's daughter was staring and staring and then very obviously in front of the girl told her mom in a loud voice, "Mom I have something I want to tell you in the car" and then pointed at the girl. lol. My friend was so embarrassed.
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:40 AM   #28
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Re: handling awkward toddler comments in public?

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Just wanted to share my friend's story. This was when her daughter was about 9. They went to a wake and before going in she told her daughter, "If you have any questions wait until we get into the car and ask me them then." So they go and are in the line to give their condolences to the family and the man who has passed had a daughter who was covered in piercings on her face. My friend's daughter was staring and staring and then very obviously in front of the girl told her mom in a loud voice, "Mom I have something I want to tell you in the car" and then pointed at the girl. lol. My friend was so embarrassed.
Kids! Lol!
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:50 AM   #29
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Re: handling awkward toddler comments in public?

When my kids were small I made a point to tell them about my dad, their grandfather, whom they ADORE! When my dad was about 2 or 3 he had an accident and sliced his eyelid on a coffee table. The doctor didn't sew his eyelid correctly, or something (a debate amongst his older brothers) so over the next couple of years his eye began to point outwards. Of course, growing up wasn't very pleasant at times for him. Bullied, ridiculed, etc.... So I told the kids about this and asked them if they thought Pappy deserved that, of course the reply no! So I have to say they have been very thoughtful and careful when it comes to delicate issues such as other's appearance or differences. Of course, kids will be kids (especially the little ones - they really just cant help it!) but I think since Pappy's story was so personal they understood better.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:58 AM   #30
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Re: handling awkward toddler comments in public?

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Originally Posted by chandni3 View Post
My friend's daughter was staring and staring and then very obviously in front of the girl told her mom in a loud voice, "Mom I have something I want to tell you in the car" and then pointed at the girl. lol. My friend was so embarrassed.
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Problem is, now they say, "aw, that person's brain doesn't work right mommy. " Somehow that is just so much worse sounding than "what happened?" ZOMG

FAIL.
LOL! Yeah, can't anticipate everything they might do.

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I'm biding my time until they are like 6 or 7. LOL

DD is almost 6 and she is starting to pick up really well on social queues, but now DS is becoming more aware of differences and he is totally NOT aware of social queues. By the time he is 6, my YDD will be turning 3 or 4, and we will start over again. And then when YDD is 6, YDS will be 4.

I foresee many years yet of awkward moments
The fun thing will be, though, that your older kids will share in the embarrassment when the little kids say those things!

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Another awful parenting moment....there is almost no racial diversity here....so when my BIL saw an african american for the first time in a store he shouted "Look! A monkey!" I think he was two. What do you say after that?!?
Oh dear.

A friend of mine took her then-3 year old daughter to Target. They passed a wall that had the manager's picture and the little girl started pointing and loudly saying "look, it's Daddy!" My friend, her husband, and daughter are all white...who knows what goes through their little brains sometimes?

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