Updated: Sep 11, 2019
After completing my previous post THOSE LOOKS, I immediately knew the next one would be entitled THOSE COMMENTS. I’m sure most of you have heard the expression, “If looks could kill.” I would like to upgrade it a notch to “If comments could kill.” THOSE LOOKS and THOSE COMMENTS work in conjunction to cause (the not so perfect) kids and their parents to experience the ultimate embarrassing moments. The people making THOSE COMMENTS should take a moment to actually think how their words might affect the ones that are on the receiving end. The wrong kind of comments can crush any child or parent. Making a little effort to say the right thing is the way to go!
I’d like to include three examples of comments made by a child, a teacher and a parent. Two examples directly affect the students and the third affects the student’s parent. Put yourselves in each scenario and try your best to experience the feelings radiated in each case. All three examples don’t help kids with learning disabilities and they most certainly don’t boost self-esteem either.
Child: Michael is a fifth grader standing around with his classmates. Everyone is in a huddle showing off their latest grades. At least all the “smart” kids are showing off their A+’s and A’s while the others stand around on the sidelines.
Michael who struggles with Dyscalculia is standing with his head down and his test in hand when one of his classmates turns to him and says, “Hey Mike, what did you get on your Math test?”
Mike looks up and says in a whisper, “Never mind.”
But his classmate with the bully in him, keeps pressing Michael for a reply, “Come on Mike, it couldn’t be that bad.”
But it was that bad. D- was written in screaming red on the top of the page. When Michael reluctantly showed it to his classmate, obviously another comment was coming full speed ahead, “Guess you’re getting tutored for the rest of your life buddy.” Then he walks away not giving his comments a second thought. Michael is left standing alone and we can only imagine how miserable and humiliated he feels.
H.S. TEACHER: The classroom was filled to the brim, maybe around 25 students or so. It was a history class and time for an exam. The teacher had good intentions, but didn’t have the
time or the sensitivity to think before speaking to Vivian (a teen with a Language Processing Disorder), in front of the entire class. “Vivian, I prepared a special test for you. Please come up front to get it.” Need I say more?
PARENT: So finally H.S. is coming to an end. Glenn went out for a beer with his friends. They’re always talking about their kids. First comes the discussion about High School graduation, then there’s the ins and outs of filling out college applications, and last but not least, bragging about how wonderful and marvelous their kids are.
Glenn is a good listener and a good friend. He doesn’t begrudge anyone their wonderful and marvelous kids but Glenn’s son isn’t so “perfect.” Glenn’s son won’t be graduating High School or applying to colleges in the near future. Unfortunately his son had to deal with a multitude of learning disabilities throughout his years of schooling. Growing up was a struggle. There were endless tutors, frustrating and anxiety ridden days and a whole list of things that don’t fit into a post.
Glenn’s closest friends are all sitting together having a beer, all knowing exactly why Glenn isn’t participating in the conversation. They all know that Glenn’s son has finally found his niche. He’s on a swimming team. Kudos to him!
Finishing up their beers, Glenn and his friends say their goodbyes. One of the guys, pats Glenn on the back and says, “I hear your son is doing great. I guess he’ll be going to college like everybody else.” Glenn’s friend gives him another friendly pat on the back and as he walks away says, “See ya around.”
Just to be clear, I know there are many sensitive people out there. But it’s important to remind those that aren’t, how hurtful and damaging their comments can be.