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Thread: Pathvet may I ask you a question regarding children, please, thank you

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    9

    Pathvet may I ask you a question regarding children, please, thank you

    I read Donna's thread and she speaks so eloquently and honestly. As well as the replies.

    This is only my second post. I'm lurking as much as I can and all I know is I have mid-back thoracic pain from scoloisis but I don't know the curvature etc.

    I'm also raising a girl who is 5. She is a very empathic child. She has good maners, says all the prerequisite "please and thank you's". I noted that you said 'children can cruel'. I know this based on my daugther's interractions in Kindergarten - she tries to be friends with everyone and gets rejected I think because she is extremely outgoing and perhaps overwhelming to some children.

    What can I as a parent do to ensure that my daughter doesn't say something like "why does granny have a big bump on her back" - she hasnt yet but I have not talked to her about it and I'ld like to ward it off so I will talk to her about it. I was curious if you could give more examples about your experiences with kids so that I can learn and turn the informatoin into lessons to teach my daughter as well.

    Thank you so much - if anyone cares to add, I'ld be grateful - Pathvet specifically mentioned it and I think 1-2 may have agreed.
    Alice

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    16

    The long and short of it

    Let me start by saying that I don't have any children of my own. Perhaps I should remark that kids can be curious and brutally honest (unfiltered) rather than cruel. Teenagers can be cruel. I think there is nothing wrong with an inquisitive child (or adult,for that matter) that sees something different and asks questions. It is difficult when you are the child that is being asked the questions because it points out your differences when all you want is to be part of the crowd. As a younger child, I was met more with curiousity than anything malicious. Questions about the length of my pant legs (since my pants are always longer on the left than the right) were common. I had girls on the school bus try to help me tuck my shirt in because clearly I didn't do it right since there was a lump over the right hip (that was my hip bone- not a lump of fabric!!) I ride horses and I don't have even shoulders, I ride with two different stirrup lengths, and I can't sit up completely straight- so that brought questions (and still does). When the intent is not to inflict pain, I don't think there is anything wrong with curiousity. When you are a teenager and your "boyfriend" won't walk next to you at the mall because of your limp and won't go to prom with you because of how you will look in a dress, that's a different story. Ouch- there is no curiousity there.

    I think that teaching your daughter to choose the appropriate time to ask questions is best. I would think that if you were to point out (privately) minor differences in people and explain some of the science/reasons behind the difference, she might understand that differences do exist. Show her that it is 100% okay, the people are just another variation on normal. The differences don't make that person any less than anyone else. Perhaps then when she sees broader differences in people (runs into someone like me on the street!), she will understand that those aren't a big deal either and there is probably a perfectly reasonable explanation. Like I said, I don't have any children so anyone that would like to comment- feel free. I know I would feel okay if a child were to say to me- while we were in a more personal setting "you have a hump on your back- what is it?" I would be more uncomfortable being pointed out in a crowd (I think that is true for everyone). I also think it would then be my responsibility to answer as truthfully as possible and not respond with "I am secretly carrying a bushel of tomatoes."

    I hope this is along the lines of what you were looking for. I am sure there are alot of ideas amongst the group. Welcome to the forum.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    778
    Alice,

    I've spent most of my life having people stare at my mom and it drives me crazy! I admit, there are times that I have been very rude to the people staring. My mom has had probably 13 or more knee surgeries and they started back in the early 70's which left very long, ugly scars. At times she has had to wear braces on both legs. Just this past week she started wearing a brace for her foot which extends up to her knee. Warm weather is coming and I know she will get stares when she wears shorts. I also went through this with my own daughter when she wore a Milwaukee brace for her Scoliosis.

    Here's how I've dealt with it. When I see a child staring and their parent doesn't handle the situation, I approach the child and parent. I simply say to the child that is my mom over there. Do you know why she has that brace on her leg? They usually shake their head no. I then go on to explain in a very simpe version that she had a boo-boo on her knee, and the brace will help her boo-boo get better. In a case of an adult who is very obvious about staring, I will make eye contact with them and most will drop their eyes in embarrassment. Some, however, are VERY rude and continue to stare even as we walk by! Those people I do the same to them...do unto others as you'd have done to you......I stare at them. I have already stopped in the middle of the mall and stared a person down. And to my mom's horror, I've sometimes made a comment along the lines of ..take a picture it lasts longer. I know, I'm rude and I'm sorry, but people can be so terribly inconsiderate.

    Having lived through this all may life, here's what I've done with my daughters. I've always told them it isn't nice to stare. I asked them if they would like it if someone stared at them and of course they said no. I've given them permission to question why someone looks the way they do. Example: we were having lunch at a pizza shop one day when my children were maybe 8 and 10. There was a gentleman who was missing his arm almost to his elbow. My girls weren't upset by his appearance, but they wanted to know how he was going to eat pizza with one hand! I used this opportunity to explain to them that maybe he was born that way but also he might have lost his hand in an accident. I admit we did watch to see how he ate pizza one handed. I then had my girls try to eat their pizza one handed to understand how he felt. In the end, the gentleman and my family fininshed our meals and left at the same time. I took the girls to the man's car and aplogized for watching him eat. I told him the whole story and explained how curious they were as to how to eat pizza with one hand. He told me there was no need to apologize and actually thanked me for coming up to with! He then went on to explain to my girls what happened to his hand and answered all their questions.

    If it were me, I'd talk to granny to get her imput. Then I'd talk to the five y.o. and tell her in simple terms why granny's back looks like it does. If granny is ok with it, show her granny's back. Be sure to use the word Scoliosis and have your daughter say it as well. Let her ask questions. Let her touch granny's back. Who knows, she may come in contact with a child who has Scoliosis who is afraid no one will be her friend because of it, and I'm sure your daughter will speak up and say, my granny has that too! And they will probably become best friends on the spot!

    Mary Lou
    Mom to Jamie age 21-diagnosed at age 12-spinal fusion 12/7/2004-fused from T3-L2; and Tracy age 19, mild Scoliosis-diagnosed at age 18.

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