Thursday, October 22, 2015

How Do You Help a Child That Doesn't Know They Need Help?

It has been a couple of weeks since I wrote something and tonight I sit here and I am not sure where to start... do I talk about the things that I am learning each day about adoption... I meet one new person each day that is trying to adopt and I find it to be a wonderful feeling knowing in some way I am helping someone on the other end of the phone learn how to transition into the adoption journey; to teach them resources to make them feel empowered not scared; that they feel safe and not alone.

Nope I will talk about that another time... do I talk about the ongoing learning experience with a child with special needs... learning how to deal with IEPs and meds or no meds; learning how to tell the difference between "he is only 5" vs. " he has developmental delays".

Nope...

I got a text from my girlfriend the other day saying that it was wear orange to school day and she didn't have anything orange!  First of all, I am sure that I have a note somewhere that told me to have to dress my son in orange that day but of course I am very unorganized since my second child was born and getting only about 2 hours of sleep on average is killing my memory!  So I thanked her for letting me know and went on a rampage through the house for orange!  Thank goodness he owned something!  I always try to be supportive even if it's just wearing clothes to show your respect for a cause!

The thing is I wasn't paying attention enough to realize this orange day was for anti-bullying awareness.  I actually cried when i found out!  I wanted to put on orange myself but who the heck is going to see a stay at home mom during the day!  My son L is the sweetest and most polite little man I have ever met.  I can't take credit for all of that - I may have taught him to say please and thank you but it is up to him to do it on his own.  L is a loving boy but he is very naive!  Too naive!  He does have developmental delays but typical children of his age don't know this.  He acts like a 5 year old some of the time, but there are many moments when he is in a group that the excitement can not be controlled.  They seem annoyed by him and try and run away from him.  It's hard to watch. 

Anyway ... having typical friends and special needs friends is something that helps me learn about our society.  Many children are not taught how to deal with a child that is "different". They are not around them enough to be bothered.  So sometimes this leads to bullying.  In our situation L has been bullied many times over the last few years but for now he has no idea that it's happening.  But one day he will understand and that will be a major time to teach him.  When a child tries to hurt him, he thinks they are being cops and he is the robber and he has to go to jail.  Or a child will try and step on his foot to deliberately stop him from moving and L will laugh his head off thinking the child stepping on him is just being silly.  How do you explain bullying to a child with special needs?  How to you stop another child from bullying?  I can't be there all the time to help him...

Education!  That is one way of helping society learn how to deal.  Well that's my opinion anyway.



My mom told me years ago that she was a bully.  My little 5'2" mom was a bully.  She explained to me she realized it came from insecurity.  She, being the worrier that she is, decided that 50 years after she did the bullying she would email the people she hurt as a child and make sure she apologized! Ha Just imagine the person who bullied you as a kid came to you and said "sorry".  I would be floored! 

I was bullied up until I was in 7th grade.  I wasn't adopted, I wasn't a special needs child, I didn't have a pimple on my nose or wear weird clothes! I was blonde haired blue eyed little girl with a name Chemene!  That's all the kids needed!  I hated going to school and being "called out" as they said in the 80's.  I would always worry about who was going to be at the front of the school waiting for me!  I got lucky and my running abilities in track saved me.  Once the bullies learned I was able to win medals for the school they left me alone.

Funny enough I see some of those bullies on social media and I always wonder if they know they were bullies or whether or not they even care that they hurt someone like me.

I guess the point of my rambling here is anyone can be bullied and my son right now is a big target.  You can't teach someone to NOT be naive, you have to wait til they grow.  But how long can I protect him?  I guess we will see...I will protect him any way I can cause he is my baby! 

How do you teach about bullying? 

Written by Chemene
Co-Leader
Adoptive Mom!


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