As your kids get older, there is always the growing possibility that either they will encounter jerks, or will be jerks themselves. Of course, it’s not always that kids are being jerks. They’re kids, after all. Some of them are curious about a person (about what they wear or look like, how they behave). Others haven’t been taught to keep their comments to themselves, especially when their comments might hurt. While it’s not all on parents, it’s important for parents to do their part. That’s why this mom is asking parenting to teach kids not to be jerks in a viral Facebook post.
The mom is author and blogger Jill Robbins, and she happens to have a son with special needs. Her son, Zack, was born with limb difference, which she describes as, “not having part or all of a limb.” Robbins adopted Zack when he was just two years old, but never really imagined that he might be ostracized for looking different.
“My son is capable of doing just about anything any other seven-year-old is capable of,” Robbins said in an interview with Scary Mommy. The proud mom says her little one colors, helps in the kitchen, plays flag football and soccer, and generally just lives an average life. His limb difference does not hinder his ability to participate in most activities.
Why We Need to Teach Kids Not to Be Jerks
But Zack is currently seven, and is entering a time in his life where, unfortunately, more people might ask him why he looks different from other kids. In fact, that’s what Robbins found out happened when he was at daycamp over the summer. This prompted him to fear starting the second grade and returning to a school where new kids might not understand his limb difference.
“People who are new to my school might stare at me and ask me questions about my little hand,” Zack told his mom when she asked him why he was nervous about going back to school. In the post, she details how her son admit that he’s tired of having to answer questions from curious kids. And that more than that, he doesn’t want anyone to be mean to him. It’s not exactly an unreasonable request, but a hard one for any mom to guarantee protection against for her child—and more so a child with special needs.
Robbins decided to take this to the public via her Facebook post.
People, please teach your kids not to be jerks. Please.This is my son Zack. He's seven and getting ready to start…
“Here’s my take-a-way: Ask questions and be curious about people who look different that you look. But before you stop to ask questions, consider that there is a living, feeling person on the other end.
And, if you have a child who is different, in any respect, keep paying attention to what they’re experiencing, thinking, and feeling. Their perception of being taunted or ostracized MATTERS.
And please…don’t let your kids be jerks. Talk to them about differences and inclusion.”
Good advice. This is certainly something we could all do as parents, don’t you think?
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(Image: Facebook / Ripped Jeans and Bifocals)