Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just get to know me

It happened, I knew it would at some point. It wasn't his fault he had never heard it in our house before, and I knew he would hear it at school, and I decided I would address it when it came up instead of addressing it before he knew anything different. Then it happened, one of our boys called someone retarded. He wasn't in trouble, we talked about what the word means, why doctors use it, and how if it is used wrong it is hurtful, and mean. Alex's older brothers adore him, and love him just the way he is. They love him, because they know him.
So if you are reading this, and you use the word retarded when you mess up, or dislike something, if you are teaching your kids by your own words that its ok to say this word, STOP! Change the way our kids think and talk. Cause if you just get to know this little boy............. He will change you! By the way Alex, now your brothers have your back!

14 comments:

Terri H-E said...

And we got your back, too. LOVE that pic within the context - excellent.

Cate was reading from a book she got at the library today and in it was the insult "spaz." I explained to her it's the exact same thing as using retarded or gay as insults - she decided to return the book immediately. So I think we had a similar conversation in our family today.

She has your back, Alex.

Jessica mommy to Alex/ RTS said...

Our kids are going to change things!

ANewKindOfPerfect said...

That picture is awesome. He is so clearly adored!

tomandcheryl said...

I love this post! I hate that word. People do not know what it means and it hurts my feelings so bad when I hear it. It is just hurtful and awful.
Thanks for this post.
~Cheryl

Staci said...

There are very few things that I would ever say that I "hate", because I dislike that word itself. However, I hate the word "retarded". I don't like to hear it in any context and when I do hear someone say it I tell them that it is offensive. I put that word in the same category as "bad words".

Kelly said...

What a good mom you are! Teaching boys compassion and love.

I know that sweet Alex will change the world...he can't lose with such great big and little brothers!

Kelly

angie said...

Way to go Jessica! I am proud of you...and I'm proud of your boys...most of all Alex! I strongly dislike that word...and my sister-in-law (who is an elementary school teacher) uses it ALL the time. I've talked to her time and time again. I've got your back too...and one day Emma's little brother will too:).

Finding Normal said...

Good job, Mama. I'm sure that was a hard conversation, but when we know better...we do better. Maybe by the time Alex and Addison are our age, that word will be obsolete. Haven't had to address it with my classroom this year, but I'm sure it'll happen before the end of the year. It always does.

The VW's said...

There is always a teaching opportunity with children! It doesn't really bother me when a child says this word, just because they don't know any better. They don't understand the real meaning of the word. Thankfully, your children have a great Momma to teach them the meaning and the importance of not saying this word.

On the other hand, when adults say this word it infuriates me! They know the meaning and they know that it hurts!

Great job trying to put a stop to this word! HUGS!!!

Melanie said...

I love this post. We don't use the word here either, and it drives me nuts when people use it. Unfortunately some people in our family still use it and its wrong, and no matter how much I state my opinion...they always say they are NOT referring to Daniel, but still. Some people no matter what you'll never change but the few we do....THANK GOD!

Anonymous said...

Jessica,
I stumbled on your blog while doing research on a student that I was observing. He is a child diagnosed with RTS. I can't stop reading and this post seemed providential.
My older brother, Jody, was born with multiple handicaps (including cerebral palsy, intellectual developmental disabilities and blindness). I spent my whole childhood fighting the word "retard" and I was finally feeling like I'd won about fifteen years ago. It seems it has come back, but I know we are all fighting it and your boys will, like me, change the people they know.
I also have to tell you that your blog is so moving. My mother wrote a book in the early eighties called A Difference in the Family about family life with a disabled child. She had to work so hard to find the other moms and dads and families like ours that she wanted to put a book out there for the folks that were too tired, too overwhelmed to mucked up in their new kind of normal. It makes me so happy to think that even as these struggles still go on for families, blogs like yours are so much easier to find than the old networks.

You are doing amazing work!
I feel a special connection to Max. I was that 10 pound, we're gonna make it after all baby in my family, born just a few months after my brother turned two.
I'm glad you made it out of the dark.

Caitlin Featherstone
cfeatherz@gingerpop.com

connie said...

Oh, no! I disappear for a little while, and he has changed so much! He is steadily growing, and so adorable!

I love that he has so many brothers to go out and teach other kids better. Their influence on other children will be impossible to measure.

Now I have to go catch up a bit (took a couple of days off work and I SHOULD be cleaning. you know how it is, ....)

asplashofsunshine said...

Ughhh, I probably have to confess that I use that word without even realizing what i say. Never in context of using toward another person, but it comes off my tongue. How pathetic I am! Thanks for opening my eyes. Gosh, I am so ashamed to say the least.

Kelly said...

You are such a good mom! I wonder when I am going to have that talk in my home. Kelly F