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Old 02-20-2007, 12:03 AM   #1
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Hurt feelings - what do i tell my 3yr old to say to other kids?

So its been a while since I've posted here but tonight my youngest son was telling me about his day at daycare (hes 3.5 yrs old, CP - just had sdr in dec and is relearning to walk, uses his walker - typically developing cognitively and socially). And he proceeds to tell me how he was mad no one wanted to play 'NASCAR' today and the others wanted to play Tag and how he was upset cause he 'isn't ready' to play tag yet because you have to run. So I give him so suggestions about cooperation and other things he could do if the others want to play tag and he feels he can't...etc...

Then (now its all 3 and 4 yr olds so I know kids are kids) he tells me how Jeffery calls him or 'says' he is "No feet." So I asked what he means by that - "does he mean because of your walker, etc?".... (playing kind of dumb but sincere) and Seth says "because I can't walk yet or run yet or bend my legs".. ANd he was SOOOOO sad and mad about it all. Well he couldn't know how powerless I felt at that moment. UGH. LIke a punch in the stomach!!!

I knew this type of stuff was coming but I just don't now a good age-appropriate response to 'give' him to say to things like that. I have a 6 yr old too so I used some that i use with him. "Tell them that hurts your feelings or tell them you dont want to play with them if they can't use nice words...etc"... BUT what I REALLY wanted to tell him was "OKay, Seth - please tell Jeffery your severly irritated mommy will be in class tomorrow to wring his mean little neck!!!" I'm just kidding of course but don't think i won't mention to the teacher to start 'listening in' to see how prevalent this type of thing is expecialy with the one kid or if it was maybe a one timer. I am sure SEth has his little snotty pre-K things he says although we preach and teach how to use 'nice words' and 'how would you feel if someone said a mean thing to you..etc?

SO - What did your parents (or parents, what did/do you tell your cp kids) tell you to say to other kids who were mean or ignorant about your CP or call names and such??? If he were older I could gauge it more but for now he's just so young.. I feel limited in how he should handle himself. He does have a decent 3 yr old understanding of his cp.

any advice or great taglines are greatly appreciated!!! Although i believe in 'turn the other cheek' as much as you can.. I just don' tthink its fair to tell him that's his only choice. There has to be a positve or effective thing he can say!!!
thanks guys!
Laurie

 
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Old 02-20-2007, 08:48 AM   #2
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Steffers2318 HB User
Re: Hurt feelings - what do i tell my 3yr old to say to other kids?

Wow, that's a tough problem to deal with. I always tell kids who ask me that my walker (or wheelchair) helps me move around because my muscles don't work the same as theirs...and that it's the same kind of thing as someone who wears glasses to help their eyes work better.

But as for someone being mean...I don't remember what my parents told me, but maybe he could say something like "yeah I have a physical problem, but your problem is a lot worse since you seem pretty mean" ? (Would three-year-olds understand that? lol)

 
Old 02-22-2007, 03:27 PM   #3
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rhales199 HB User
Re: Hurt feelings - what do i tell my 3yr old to say to other kids?

This isn't really an answer to your question, but it may be something you could do that would help.

First of all, I teach 3 year olds in my church. Every year, we have a lesson about bodies, which includes teaching them about people whose bodies don't work quite like theirs (people w/ disabilities), and how to treat them. Since my hubby is physically disabled (he's the one that has CP), I invite him to join us. The kids always have questions for him, and learn that he is a person they can talk to, and not be afraid of.
They learn that they should never make fun of a person because they have a disability.
After that lesson, when ever they see him, they will always come up and say hi to him, or 'try' to hold the door for him, or something.
We have done this same thing with elementary age children and had the same 'results'.

So, my suggestion would be to see if you could talk to the teacher and see if they couldn't have a 'lesson' about how to treat people with disabilities.
Have someone (if not yourself or the teacher) come in and teach the kids about why some people can't walk, ect., and that just because they're 'different' doesn't mean kids can be mean to them or make fun of them.
I don't think I would necessarily talk specifically about your son, as that could be ambarrassing, but about disabled people in general (and maybe the kids would figure out the rest).

I'm not sure if it's something you would want to try, but I just thought i'd make the suggestion.

Becky

 
Old 02-23-2007, 09:51 AM   #4
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Malwm01 HB User
Re: Hurt feelings - what do i tell my 3yr old to say to other kids?

Doing what Becky said works. Gosh, that boy is only 3???? I have a 3 year old niece and she doesn't know how to be mean!! Heck even her 4 and 6 year old sibs are just starting to realize how to use their words to hurt people.

I went to a special needs school from 3 until I was 6. I didn't need to deal with these kinds of things until I was seven and at that point my mom's advice was to treat everyone with kindness, even the mean ones and when they realize that I don't care that they say mean things they will stop. Granted it took me until I was 15 to be able to do what she said (not let bullies see that they hurt me,) it helped that she started saying it when I was 7.

 
Old 02-23-2007, 02:12 PM   #5
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Re: Hurt feelings - what do i tell my 3yr old to say to other kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malwm01 View Post
Doing what Becky said works. Gosh, that boy is only 3???? I have a 3 year old niece and she doesn't know how to be mean!! Heck even her 4 and 6 year old sibs are just starting to realize how to use their words to hurt people.

I went to a special needs school from 3 until I was 6. I didn't need to deal with these kinds of things until I was seven and at that point my mom's advice was to treat everyone with kindness, even the mean ones and when they realize that I don't care that they say mean things they will stop. Granted it took me until I was 15 to be able to do what she said (not let bullies see that they hurt me,) it helped that she started saying it when I was 7.
Agrees with everyone. I don't remeber how others treated me at that age. Like the others said. Talk to the kids and try to explain that he may have to move a litter different from them but other than that he is just like therm he likes to play ect. Several times I have had small kids come up to me and ask what was wrong when I explained to them on their level that I just move a little different. They were satisfied.

As for when he gets older I just learned to ignore "stupid" comments. The key is to try not to let them see they hurt you. Most kids respond with making fun because they don't understand.

I hope I helped some.
Jonda
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Old 02-23-2007, 06:17 PM   #6
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Malwm01 HB User
Re: Hurt feelings - what do i tell my 3yr old to say to other kids?

I was in a rush this morning when I replied, so I wanted to add a little bit. Please don't stone me; I'm trying to look at this from all angles, to get the best picture.

Firstly, are we sure that Jeffery is calling your son "no feet," to be mean? Or is he being brutally blunt? Kids are known to be blunt and to the point. My own four year niece gets a kick out of her wobbly Aunt and giggles. She's just being brutally honest—I do wobble.

I'm not saying that your son doesn't have a right to have his feeling hurt over that, because the first time we were walking into a very crowed McDonalds, and my neice decided to yell (very loudly,) "Hey you wobble when you walk." And proceed to laugh that it didn't hurt somewhere deep down inside me (and I'm 23.)

I'm just saying it would be a shame if another little boy was hurt because he was scolded, or wrongfully punished, or just singled out because he was just being honest.

To me, it sounds like the day care workers need to be a little more pro-active in the situation. To plan activities that your son and all of his peers can be involved in.

If there are 7 kids (your son included) the daycare worker needs to remedy the situation if 6 of the 7 kids decide to play tag while your son sits out.

If Helen Keller were a 3 year old today and she went to daycare, I would be appalled if the adults in the situation let her sit alone in a corner while the rest of the kids played musical chairs. Y'know what I mean?

Also, kids can understand more than we give them credit for; but not if they don't have things explained to them.

Perhaps someone needs to really come in and say that it hurts people's feelings when you point out that they are different and tell them they can't play.

If a person can't play what you want, maybe they should find a way to include them in another game.

BUT they can't understand that unless someone points it out in a way that they can.

Like I said above, your son has a right to be upset/offened that someone was blunt. BUT the only solution is education.

 
Old 02-28-2007, 06:43 AM   #7
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joromo703 HB User
Re: Hurt feelings - what do i tell my 3yr old to say to other kids?

Our son is 4 (we held him back so he is in a class with 3 year olds). He also has to deal with these types of comments from other kids.

To echo what others have said, I really don't think kids at that age say things to be mean, they just say whatever they think. Our son has told us that other kids have told him "you don't run, you just walk" and "you walk funny" and all sorts of things like that. He doesn't cry about it, but it is clear that he feels wounded.

Our son's school has been wonderful. They bought new playground equipment (small picnic table and kitchen set) in the hopes that the other kids would come over and play where he was instead of him unsuccessfully chasing other kids all over the playground. We have also made a big effort to have all the kids in Patrick's class over for playdates and have tried to get to know the other parents as much as possible--if they know us and him, maybe they will talk to their kids about how to treat him.

In the end, he is going to have to deal with his peers on his own. All we can do is try to give him as much self confidence as possible.

What we tell our son is that if someone is mean, don't get into a fight, just go find someone nice to play with. There are plenty of nice kids out there. (This after painfully watching him try to keep up and play football with a neighbor's 6 yo son at a block party who for some reason he decided to idolize who kept telling him "get away from me!"). He actually seems to have taken it to heart, and has said a couple of times to me that someone at school said something that wasn't nice, and so he went to play with someone else.

 
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