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Children learn by imitation. As parents, we have an awesome responsibility to model behavior for our children. They want to be just like dad or just like mom. We are their heroes.

They will repeat what we say. If you ever let foul language slip they will definitely repeat that.

They mimic what we do. Toddlers like to have play kitchens and play took benches. They want to do what mom or dad does.

Like all that, they pick up on our reactions to things and that will be their reaction. If we show fear to something, so will they. If we show anger, so will they. If we are happy about something, they will see that as joyful.

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Children are the face of innocence.

Thanksgiving….a time for family to gather together. A time to relax and enjoy each other.

I have a special needs child. He can be difficult at times. When the family gathers it often happens at my house. This makes things easier on my son. He does better in his own environment.

There was only one other child at our house for Thanksgiving. She’s only one and crawls around. She sat with her parents through dinner, happy and smiling.

When my son got done eating I took him in his room that is connected to the living room so everyone could enjoy the rest of their meal without him bothering them.

Many moved to the living room. The youngest visitor started crawling into the living room. Her mom didn’t want her in their and told her dad to go in their with her. My son was in the living room and I was sitting on the floor. She was crawling around checking things out and smiling.

I have an exercise ball in the living room. She started hitting it. My son    got another exercise ball and pushed it over to her. He then went to his room and found another ball and brought it out to her.

I went in my son’s room and got her a musical toy to play with. My son saw it and went and got her two more toys. He doesn’t really interact with other kids so him bringing her toys was a big thing.

She started crawling into my son’s room. He mom quickly made her boyfriend get their child away from there.

Here’s what I sensed in that whole experience. Someone is scared of my child. Someone really thinks I would let my child hurt their child. Something thinks their child is too good for my son’s room.

Someone labeled my child as a freak and outcast by their actions.

Parents—your kids are watching. They don’t know to be scared of something until you teach them that.

If you act as if a special needs child is a freak or an outcast, they will see that child as a freak or an outcast too.

If you are scared of something or have reservations, talk to the parents of the child. Educate yourself. Parents would rather answer the same questions about their child 1000 times then have you treat their child as a disease.

I spend a lot of time isolating my child from others. I am always conscious to make sure he isn’t disturbing someone. I will never be able to just let him go & play without keeping an eye on him. He is forever a toddler.

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To have others treat him as a freak that they don’t want their own precious child around in a sucker punch.

That is my son with my nephew. Don’t get me wrong, he can be a pincher & biter and he can also be a sweetheart.

Teach your kids that even though someone is different they are still just a person. You have to hold that idea yourself. Do you get annoyed with special needs children. Do you stare or get disgusted by them? If you do, your children will too. Treat that special needs child just like you would want someone else to treat your child.

Your child is a precious gift, but so is mine!