The incident bothered me for several days. What upset me was that I didn’t feel prepared to help Peter handle the situation, that I wasn’t able to empower him with advice after he told me the story, and that I had not rehearsed these situations with him in a long time. After reflecting on it for several days, I came to the conclusion that situations such as this give Peter an opportunity to make a positive difference in the world, that he has the ability to change a person’s perspective for their lifetime. Now that’s empowering!
With the exception of intentional bullying, most hurtful remarks are made out of ignorance, lack of understanding, and fear of the unknown. I want Peter to be smart enough and strong enough to dismiss the hurtful part of what someone says and to quickly reply with a firm and strong statement. It has to be something positive, simple, and easy for him to remember. Something like, “That’s a mean thing to say. I don’t see what is so creepy about missing an ear.” I want to practice with Peter until he is able to confidently reply in any stressful situation. I want his speech to be very clear and firm, and I want him to look the person right in the eye when he says it. I don’t want Peter to be rude, but I also don’t want him to turn away, look down, or ignore the comment.
As we read in Erica’s blog last week, the comments and stares never really go away when you live with a craniofacial difference. As Peter’s Mom, I feel compelled to come up with ways to help him have “Grace Under Fire.” Our craniofacial community needs to create tools that help spread acceptance, especially with those one-on-one encounters. So, I am asking for your help in the form of a contest.
Please submit your best comeback for, “You look creepy.” I am looking for a simple, positive, and educational remark. Submissions need to be made either on the CCA Kids Blog Facebook page or here at www.ccakidsblog.org. We will accept your comments for one week (until May 20th) and then Peter will select his favorite. The winner will be announced on the CCA Kids Blog website on Monday, May 21st and will receive a $25 Amazon gift card from Peter!
Together we can make the world a more accepting place for our children. Happy Mother’s Day!