How best to handle this? 6yo was mean to a boy with a disability:((13 Posts)
My 6yo has just come home from school and told me that at dinner time she was sat at the table alone and a new boy came to sit with her. In her words 'he had a small bent around arm with little bumps instead of fingers'. They are her words, not mine!
She said she left the table and went and sat somewhere else because it made her feel funny. Without chastising her I've told her that it wasn't very nice to leave the new boy alone since he is new and probably hasn't made many new friends yet but I have told her that I will speak to about it more after her sisters have gone to bed.
I know that she needs to know that it isn't acceptable to be mean whether it is intentional or not, I just don't know the right words to use and I need to get this right. Please help!
I think you have taken the right approach about chatising her about leaving the new born alone. It doesn't like she was actually horrid to,him about his disability, more just felt a little,uncomfortable.
If the boy is going to be in her class, you'll have to explain that show will,have to,get used to it, and he can't help having a disability. Also, how would she feel,if people ignore her. Teach her to like the person, not look at the disability.
Its perfectly natural to feel nervous around Disability if she hasn't seen anything before. You could explain while we are all same on inside with same feelings, everyone's body are different in what they look like or how well they can do things.
You could say he was clever in being able to still eat if he didn't have hands/arms that work well? Take time to put out Disabilities around you wheelchairs, scooters, frames, glasses, hearing aids all things that help people with everyday. I'd make point that the boy propable wasn't in pain (I have disabled myself) and children often worry about it hurting.
That's it. Ask her how she would feel if someone treated her like that. Hopefully she will realise. What was her reaction when you explained things.
A 6 year old who hasn't seen that sort of disability before will feel a bit odd or uncomfortable at first. I would maybe talk to her about differences like size, colour, hair style etc and explains that like other differences this little boy still has the same feelings and nd thoughts as everybody else. Is Carrie still on cbeebies she definitely normalised physical disabilities for my boys when they were younger.
I've just had a talk with her about it while her dad occupied her sisters, it's actually opened up a really good conversation about kindness and bullying/discrimination. I know she is a kind girl at heart but didn't understand that her actions could be seen as unkind. I asked her how she would feel if somebody said they wouldn't sit with her just because she wears glasses and it definitely registered with her. She said she is going to try and get to know something else about him if she sees him again. Thanks for your input!
People say kids don't notice difference but they by a certain age do your dd probably hasn't encountered somebody with such a noticeble difference as the little lad maybe she was frightened. I do think you handled it really welll and hopefully your little girl will feel more confident in talking to him tomorrow. Teaching acceptence and kindness doesn't happen over night.
I would talk to the school as they may not have realised younger kids would have this perfectly normal reaction. I'm a wheelchair user and have been careful to select books and toys that have a range of abilities in characters. Some are not so subtle but do the job; e.g. A Biff Chip and Kipper book featuring a boy in a wheelchair who was brilliant at loads of things and no one minding pushing him across a field!
As a parent I would expect the school to be working with other kids, in a subtle way, in socialising and accepting various forms of disability. It may be that they are doing this but your DD hasn't noticed yet. His parents must be nervous as hell, a friendly nod in the playground would be awesome!
I think he may be from an older year than her, she does tend to end up sitting with the older children at dinner anyway because she eats so slow so she will be likely to encounter him again. I really hope she hasn't upset!
If she takes notice of what you said and she says hello to the boy im sure it will be fine.
I've said to ours that sometimes people look a bit different because each of us has a plan hidden deep inside us when we're born. This plan tells our bodies how to grow, and every plan is a bit different. Their own plan gives people their height, their eye colour, their skin colour, and how long their arms and legs are too.
It looks a bit more different than usual, but it's easy to get get used to. The boy might be lonely because he's new and you know she's a kind girl, so it might be nice to go and chat to him.
In case she has any more questions, have a look at the website REACH, which has lots of pictures of people with hand/arm conditions, plus information about why they come about.
Also, don't get hung up about this, but maybe just be aware that this boy and/or his parents may not consider him to have a 'disability' if it doesn't really affect his day to day life. My son has a different condition affecting his hands and his occupational therapist always calls this sort of condition a 'difference' which I quite like. This is a very personal thing though, and I wouldn't be cross with anyone who might call it a disability, so don't let that worry you.
It sounds like you've done a really good job comparing it to glasses and focusing on how he is feeling as a new child in a school rather than focusing solely on his arm.
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