There has been a lot of talk lately about colour and how kids are not born with the stigma and prejudice that many adults develop over the course of their lives, I believe that the same can be said for disabilities and difference in general, kids may be able to see a difference but unless raised to point it out most will acknowledge or treat the person any differently at all.
I fetched my boys from their dad last night and asked me to relay their week to me, play catch up in other words they spent a good 10 minutes telling me about the party Gabriel had attended over the weekend, a family member; a gorgeous little girl who was born blind, her mum was actually pregnant at the same time I was with Gabriel and I still have a photo from my baby shower showing her and another girl I knew standing in a row bellies proudly displayed in the line of who was to give birth first, second and third, if I remember correctly she was the last one to give birth out of the 3 of us.
Anyway so my eldest began to explain how Gabriel had been chided for wanting to point out that she could not see, he of course denied this and said that he had not but that aside it led to me explaining that just because someone is different to you does not make them any less special, or any less loved and that they ‘differences’ only make them more special and beautiful to those who love them, I also explained that not everyone has a disability that is physical, there are actually several physically disabled people in our family so I was actually taken a back that Gabriel would even see it as a difference because they don’t seem to notice it all with anyone else or don’t see it as a difference at all , especially taking into account that there are family members with disabilities and I have not raised them to see them as different at all.
My eldest then went on to tell me about a girl at his school who is also disabled, and how she didn’t have someone to sit with last week so he did and that just made my heart swell with pride as he spoke about what a lovely girl he is and how much he liked sitting with her.
I then went on to tell them that despite their adhd they are still the same they are no less loved and no less of a person etc, now bearing in mind that we have never really said to the kids you are adhd etc, they know they have their differences and they know their medication helps them with that but the actual name is not something they really know as I prefer and I think they father feels the same not to label them or get them into a point where they use their difference as a crutch or excuse for acting out, anyway so my eldest asked me what I meant by adhd and for the first time I properly explained the term he replied with oh ok and that was that.
I know in my heart that kids are not born with hate and prejudice it is something they are taught and I believe whole heartedly that it is our jobs as parents to raise them to see and understand this- that EVERYONE is beautiful, I have seen my own children being taunted or bullied for their difference but I have seen just as many who have helped and been a friend, I can tell you that more often or not the children that were bullies etc had parents to match so many times I was not surprised but only felt sorry for the child as they were being taught to behave and treat people in such a manner.
I know children often give into peer pressure I know that things are not always said with bad intention but rather a naïve innocence and I believe and hope that if Gabriel did notice it that this was his intention, I can only hope that I have brought them up and will continue to raise them with that love and understanding.