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Old 11-06-2012, 09:12 AM   #31
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Re: handling awkward toddler comments in public?

What I find embarrassing is when my DD calls every black man of a certain built and hairstyle "Shout" - as in Shout from The Fresh Beat Band on Nick Jr.! It became worse after she saw the band play live in April of this year. Ugh!

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Old 11-06-2012, 03:05 PM   #32
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Re: handling awkward toddler comments in public?

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Originally Posted by Kiliki View Post
...
I often feel terrible when I see kids in wheelchairs or even worse when I see mentally challenged kids.
...
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.
My approach (on my own & with kids) is to generally approach a child with a disability like any other new child; wanting to meet them, play & get to know them better if they'd like that too. I don't go in feeling terrible for them, because I think that is making a lot of assumptions. Instead, aiming just to get to know them has worked pretty well and I don't think I've been offensive. (If you would be offended by my approach, please do let me know so I can get better, too!! )

We've played with other children in wheelchairs, with leg/arm braces, with some other physically obvious differences, and just approached with an opening lines inviting them to play, appropriate to what they may be able to do. When DD1 has been curious, I've taken the approach of "Yes, they are different, and also a lot like you. Let's go meet them, maybe we'll make a new friend" at playgroups, parks, etc. Usually it's just the same difference part then "We can say hello to them, smile & wave" if it's at a grocery store or some place less open to meeting friends - sometimes it leads to conversation, sometimes just a wave, sometimes it isn't noticed or may be ignored (but that goes with the cashiers & old ladies we smile & wave to, as well).

I grew up with some exposure but no disabled children of my own (parents fostered babies with suspected or confirmed physical &/or mental disabilities & I volunteered with overnight Easter Seals camps as a teen), so I may have a different perspective, but I do feel comfortable around children & adults with disabilities.

I do enjoy the variety of children & board books there are that help bring these differences up so you can see & talk about it at home, too. I'm guessing some videos can help with advanced exposure, too.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:29 PM   #33
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Re: handling awkward toddler comments in public?

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We were in the mall one day when my oldest was little. He saw a guy in a wheelchair, and was just fascinated with the whole idea. I explained it to him as best I could, and the guy actually came over and answered my sons questions. It was actually a good learning experience for my son. Later, we were in a clothing store, and he saw a woman with an eye patch. Hollered "PIRATE!" As loudly as he could. Not so pleasant (the lady was not thrilled). After we left, I explained again, as best I could. I use those moments as teaching moments...
sorry this made me laugh.

Ds has a serious speech delay so we haven't had anything like this happen yet. The only thing was he saw a really dark black man and mumbled "oh no" under his breath. Like the man was hurt or something. Same he does for casts and crutches and things.


I'm a special Ed teacher and we take a plain and simple approach. Answer questions or talk about it in a matter of fact way, and encourage normal conversation with the person of focus.
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:40 AM   #34
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Re: handling awkward toddler comments in public?

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What I find embarrassing is when my DD calls every black man of a certain built and hairstyle "Shout" - as in Shout from The Fresh Beat Band on Nick Jr.! It became worse after she saw the band play live in April of this year. Ugh!
LOL! Back in the early 80s when Magnum, PI was one of the most popular shows on TV, I babysat a toddler whose minister father had wavy brown hair and a mustache, so a passing resemblance to Tom Selleck. Every time she was out in public and saw a poster of him displayed, she would start shouting, "Look! My Daddy!". Embarrassed us to death. Even worse, she was fascinated by tractor trailers, so would start shouting "Truck! Truck!" every time she saw one. Unfortunately, she couldn't pronounce the "Tr" sound, and would use "F" instead.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:47 AM   #35
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Re: handling awkward toddler comments in public?

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LOL! Back in the early 80s when Magnum, PI was one of the most popular shows on TV, I babysat a toddler whose minister father had wavy brown hair and a mustache, so a passing resemblance to Tom Selleck. Every time she was out in public and saw a poster of him displayed, she would start shouting, "Look! My Daddy!". Embarrassed us to death. Even worse, she was fascinated by tractor trailers, so would start shouting "Truck! Truck!" every time she saw one. Unfortunately, she couldn't pronounce the "Tr" sound, and would use "F" instead.
Oh that is so funny!
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:27 PM   #36
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Re: handling awkward toddler comments in public?

Just as others have said, I use them as teaching moments and take the time to explain things to my child in the correct way when they do something like that.
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