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Thread: Parents with young children

  1. #1
    Senior Member nevada's Avatar
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    Parents with young children

    Well
    I knew it was going to happen sometime and it did yesterday. My five year old son had a friend over and I over heard him teasing my son about being in what he called a highchair. My son took it in stride and told him it's not a highchair! It is a wheelchair and I am in it because I broke my neck and have a spinal cord injury. I had to wheel into the bedroom so that they would not see my tears. My question is this, how do you other parents with young children out there handle situations like this. I thought my son did a great job wished I could handle it as good as he did.

    Nevada

  2. #2
    You're raising a strong guy there, Nevada.

    C5/6 incomplete, injured Aug. 2000

  3. #3
    I have let the children handle it themselves. And it has never been a big problem for them. If other children come directly to me, I only say it is difficult for me to walk because I have distroyed my back.And the children are satisfied, they do not ask anymore.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ~Patrick~'s Avatar
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    Charlie, I think he handled it alot better than you. Kids will call it what they know. Obviously this kid had never been around a wheelchair but may have a smaller sibling so he relates to a highchair. Next time maybe you could sneek in and give a ten second lesson on how and why you use your wheelchair. When I worked at the Y last year there was this four year old that was very interested in me and why my legs didnt work. For about a month every time he would come in for preschool he would find me and ask if they were working yet. Keep your chin up.

    T-10 complete
    10/08/01



  5. #5
    Senior Member PB72181's Avatar
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    My youngest sister is 5 years old. I was just over a year post when she was born. Her perspective is very interesting to me, becuase she's never known me any other way. To her, this is me, and this is "normal." Her friends tend to be a little more curious of me...some will ask questions, and some won't. The ones that don't usually seem a little embarrassed, and that, to me, says their parents have told them not to stare at somebody, and it stuck, and now they're afraid to ask questions. So maybe the best thing to do might be to encourage the your son's friend to ask you questions if he has some (which I'm sure he probably does). When parents tell their kids not to stare, that's what I try to do...encourage them to ask a question if they have one. Kids that young hardly ever mean harm in what they say...they just say what they know, and it's up to us, as adults, to help them learn what's right.

    My girlfriend has spina bifida, and she is a kindergarten teacher. Watching her with her students is absolutely amazing to me, because they are so accepting. Initially, she said they were curious, asked a lot of questions, some shyed away from her, but now, they don't even see it. And I think it's wonderful that they are being presented the opportunity to form such a positive impression of people with 'differences' at such a young age. Maybe later, when their friends really start getting to them with all of the nasty stuff about people who are different, they'll stop to think of their kindergarten teacher, and say, "No, she wasn't like that."

    Stupidity is not a handicap. Please park elsewhere.

  6. #6
    My kids' friends think my motor chair is one of the coolest things in the world. They like my assistance dog too. I let them honk my horn and SOMETIMES let my six year old handle the stick. They ask me why I'm in a wheelchair and I tell them I had a car accident and leave it at that cuz the oldest ones are only seven...my kids understand that I broke my neck. Maybe they talk about it more when I'm not there but they seem more curious than anything.

  7. #7
    Moderator Obieone's Avatar
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    Laure-Jane was 3 when her Dad was hurt, our older children have dealt with his injury differently by comparison! They were/are more angry about it whereas she is more sad about it! But I would say overall she has dealt with it more easely because she simply doesn't remember/know her Dad any other way... I comfort myself with this idea that it is the child's brain/memory protecting the child from the hurt of remembering what cannot be changed! Don't know (or care for that matter) if that's the real reason - it helps "me" .... the last picture I have of her and her Dad together is the two of them standing on the shore fishing .... she's standing beside him hanging on to his leg so she doesn't fall .... holding on for dear life... a bitter sweet memory!!

    Her friends take his injury in stride because LJ simply answers their questions in a very matter of fact way ... I'm very proud of her! I'm sure this will be true for you and your son Nevada! Most often it is "our" feelings and emotions being transfered to them that we are experiencing not theirs..... they really are more fine than we realize....

    Obie

  8. #8
    I had both of my boys post sci and so they don't know me any other way. I've always noticed though, if your attitude is positive and that you view yourself as normal, then they will too!
    I have a motorized chair that my husband attached a board along the back so that my boys can ride on back of me so their friends think it's cool. They also think my accessible van is like a cool spaceship when it lowers and opens. I try to take advantage of those situations and let their friends "in on the fun" by letting them open my van ramp or riding on back of my chair. At 5 and 9years old, they think I'm like six flags!

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