Mom Uses Heartbreaking Story to Remind Parents of an Important Lesson About Being Different
Mom Stacey Gagnon has an important message for parents about being different. Stacey, who is the mom to 4 children shared a Facebook post about her young son Joel, who was born with a cranio-facial impairment. They were at a church they don’t normally attend because her oldest child was giving a speech. When Stacey took Joel to the children’s church service, she said that all of the children either stared or pointed at Joel because of his impairment.
He is missing an ear and some bone structure.
These children’s reactions were obviously heartbreaking not only for Joel, but for Stacey as well. “Today hurt,” she admitted at the start of the Facebook post. As the kids silently continued to stare at Joel, he tried to cover himself with his hands because as Stacey put it “you cannot hide in plain sight.”
She explained that she would have given the kids a speech about being different and accepting other kid’s differences, but at that moment all she could think about was attending to her little boy who’s feelings were obviously so hurt. It is not an easy situation for anyone to be in, but since they’ve been through it before, Stacey had to decide what was the best thing to do in that moment, give a lesson, or be a mom? “I knelt down and asked, “do you want to leave?” “Yes”, he whispered, and he stood and ran from the room.” She wrote. She then had to hold her son as he cried in her lap during the rest of the church service. His spirit was broken. He then wrote “Joel loves Mom” on her hand with a pen as they sat together.
Even though they stared and pointed at her son, Stacey Gagnon doesn’t think that the kids at the church are mean or bad kids. And they’re probably not. These kids are simply uneducated on what to do if you meet someone who doesn’t look like you.
“So I ask all parents this, teach your children,” she says.
Continuing, “Teach your children that many people look different. Show them pictures of people that look different. And then explain that it is not okay to stare at someone that looks different, it’s not okay to point.”
And she’s absolutely right. There’s nothing wrong with being different, but kids have to know what to do in those situations. It is our job as parents to educate our children about things like this. It isn’t enough to teach children to be kind to everyone. You have to use specific examples. Stacey makes a great suggestion when she says to show them pictures. Google pictures of kids with disabilities. Watch TV shows where kids are in wheelchairs or walk with braces or are deaf or blind. It is simply unacceptable that something like this has to happen to a sweet little boy who “love Dodge Ram trucks and Minecraft and playing in the dirt.” We must do better.
(Image: Facebook / Stacey Jackson Gagnon)