Christian Taylor Buchanan

Christian Taylor Buchanan

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Five Ways to Teach Your Child About People With Differences - Part Three - Be Honest


3. Speak Matter-of-Factly and Honestly About Differences

Thanks for joining me once again for my five part series on teaching your kids about people with differences! I am so enjoying sharing my heart with you all!! If you have missed any parts of the series, you can start with part two here: Creating A Safe Space to Get It Wrong. Part two includes a link to Part 1, so it should be easy to navigate to where you want to go.

So, Part 3 of my series is Called "Be Honest." I think it's so important to be open and candid with kids about differences, without, of course, divulging so much information that the child gets scared or put off. Sometimes disabilities can result from traumatic accidents, and while it's the truth, some kids might be too young to understand and process the fact that it could happen to any of us. So, I will preface this post with a disclaimer. Please use discretion when being open honest with children about disabilities. Age, development level, maturity, and so much more goes into consideration about how much and what to divulge. So, please do so wisely!

Now, on to the good stuff!

For my family, speaking about Christian's disability is a way of life. I travel the country, getting invited to speak about Christian. Just tomorrow we leave for San Antonio where I will be sharing about Christian at the Cleft Strong 5k. I have written a book about our lives
                       
(Shout out to Through The Eyes of Hope!!! Find it here!!! )

I have spent more hours of my life talking about Christian, not only to journalists and media outlets, but also to doctors, social security case workers, teachers, therapists, and everyone in between, that I know I couldn't begin to figure it all up. It is something that we are used. Living with the differences that Christian has are just a way of life for us. There are days when we honestly don't even think about Christian's difference because we are so intimately acquainted with it is our normal, and so that we don't think about it when we see it or deal with it.

So, saying things like "Christian was born without his eyes. Christian is blind. Christian has facial difference." Those are just everyday words and phrases in our house. They are facts. They are not inherently emotional, but I realize that for everyone besides us, they are not common place issues. Sometimes, as people who have emotions, we can place our own emotions onto facts and then convey those emotions to our kids along with the facts of the situation. When talking to kids about a person's difference, I suggest talking about the facts as facts and leaving emotion out of it until the child decides what emotions to have about it. Then we can guide children into appropriate emotions about the situation. For example, if a child feels sad that Christian doesn't have his eyes, you can help them understand it's okay to be sad about the things that Christian struggles with. (Sometimes it makes me sad, too.) You could help them think of ways they could help Christian with those things he struggles with. Maybe they can help him find his toy he dropped, or they can tell him about the colors on the pages of the book being read. It's a win/win when things like this take place because Christian is getting much loved interaction with peers and some help that he really might need, and the other child is learning empathy and compassion and service.

Love This Wild Child
Kids are sponges. They take in everything, even the things we unintentionally convey to them. Even the things we think they aren't listening or paying attention to. They will react how we "tell" them to react, even when we tell them subconsciously. If we can convey a message of calmness and an attitude matter-of-fact-ness (I just made that word up) to kids about someone's differences, often times, they will pick up on that. If we show kindness and caring, they will probably mimic that. If we cry and lament or say things like "Poor soul!" about a person's disability to them, or if we do our best to ignore people with differences so we don't have to deal with our own emotions about it, they will likely pick up on that, too.

Sympathy or apathy are not emotions I wish kids would pick up on about people with differences. Empathy, YES!!! But, Christian surely doesn't need pity. He does need friends though, and acceptance, love, appreciation, hugs, encouragement, empathy, and inclusion, to name a few. Pitiful, he is not.

Using matter-of-fact details about a person is always a good place to start when explaining why that child doesn't have eyes. Cool, calm, and collected. "Yes. He is missing his eyes. He is blind. That means he can't see. He does look different than you." "Yes. That woman uses a wheel chair. It helps her get from place to place. Maybe her legs don't work like yours to carry her, so she needs the wheel chair. We can go talk to her if you'd like." There is just nothing offensive about saying a person in a wheelchair is in a wheelchair. I highly doubt it will offend them. As I said in an earlier blog post, they already know they use a chair for mobility. You won't surprise them with your statement. Haha! It won't shock my family for you to say that Christian has a difference. He sure does. Whenever we talk about his difference, I have taught him to say "That's how I was born, and I was born awesome!" :)

Christian's joy over wiggling a noodle
at dinner time
I have to share this funny story that just happened a few weeks ago. Chandler has come a long way on the screaming in terror at people with differences front. :D I had coffee last week with a friend who has a prosthetic leg and I brought the boys along. She was wearing a skirt and sandals, so her legs were visible. Chandler almost immediately noticed that one of her legs was different, and he asked her about it. I have always encouraged him to approach people with differences and talk to them because I know he has been scared and unsure about it, so I was proud that he felt comfortable to do it! :) I also knew that my friend would be totally cool with it because she is pretty much one of the coolest people I know! She explained to Chandler that she has a real leg and a fake leg, and that her fake leg helps her walk. Then she invited him to touch her foot. Chandler happily bent down and felt of her foot for a total of less than five seconds, then carried on about his planets of the solar system like always and never mentioned it again. My friend's attitude was calm, positive, and  factual towards Chandler's question. It was the perfect response to a curious child in my opinion. Her attitude was obviously convey to Chandler, which is the goal!

For me, saying that Christian doesn't have his eyes is about the same as saying Christian has dirty blonde hair. It just is. To say Christian is blind is like saying Christian is six years old. It's just factual and descriptive information about Christian. It's not inherently bad to be blind or to not have eyes. We just perceive it that way sometimes. But I assure you all, Christian gets along just fine without his. :)

I feel like maybe the hesitation that some folks feel in making these matter of fact statements is their fear in offended a person with a difference. So, I just want to assure you that it's not offense to make a factual statement about a person. It's an observation. It's reality. Disability is no longer taboo. It is no longer something we hide. We are living in a time when disability is more accepted, I believe than ever before. The disabled community is proud of who we are. We are proud of the people inside our community who are mostly just amazing people. (Have you met my kid?! :D) So, please don't feel as though you have to tip toe around a disability or sugar coat it. Please also don't feel as though the disabled community needs pity, apathy, or avoiding.

The disabled community has embraced itself, and we hope you will embrace us, too!
Christian and his sensei, Mr. Bill Taylor



5 comments:

  1. BREAKUP REHAB ( AWESOME TRUE STORY )

    I am Brian Donald and this is my testimony. In September 18th 2017, my girlfriend Maggie called it a quit to our 6 years relationship. it was pathetic, i tried to calm her down but she insisted on breakup because she has met another nice guy in Sydney. the pain was too-much for me to bear, so i went online to look for help then i saw a blog about this powerful spell caster from USA called Dr. Ugo Wonders. i read alot of testimonies about him but i was not too sure if he could help me because i was living in Australia but i decided to give him a try. i emailed him all about my relationship problem and my fear for distance, he assured me not to worry that distance is not a barrier and that the wind blows, so shall my help locate me in 24 hours.i trusted him by his words at once and followed his instructions. Immediately after 24 hours of casting the spell as he instructed me, my girlfriend who left me to be with another man came back home to me and started begging me forgiveness. i was shocked, surprised and amazed and i was like "wow" it worked like a magic. this is the reason i decided to share this my wonderful testimony with the whole world to contact this world classified spell caster called Dr. Ugo for any relationship or breakup issues via his email generalspelltemple@gmail.com or call his mobile number +13863369876 website: http://generalspelltempleblog.wordpress.com



    BREAKUP REHAB ( AWESOME TRUE STORY )

    I am Brian Donald and this is my testimony. In September 18th 2017, my girlfriend Maggie called it a quit to our 6 years relationship. it was pathetic, i tried to calm her down but she insisted on breakup because she has met another nice guy in Sydney. the pain was too-much for me to bear, so i went online to look for help then i saw a blog about this powerful spell caster from USA called Dr. Ugo Wonders. i read alot of testimonies about him but i was not too sure if he could help me because i was living in Australia but i decided to give him a try. i emailed him all about my relationship problem and my fear for distance, he assured me not to worry that distance is not a barrier and that the wind blows, so shall my help locate me in 24 hours.i trusted him by his words at once and followed his instructions. Immediately after 24 hours of casting the spell as he instructed me, my girlfriend who left me to be with another man came back home to me and started begging me forgiveness. i was shocked, surprised and amazed and i was like "wow" it worked like a magic. this is the reason i decided to share this my wonderful testimony with the whole world to contact this world classified spell caster called Dr. Ugo for any relationship or breakup issues via his email generalspelltemple@gmail.com or call his mobile number +13863369876 website: http://generalspelltempleblog.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love your babies so much! Chandler was so adorable when I was explaining that I have a "real" leg and a "fake" leg! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi everyone,
    Real & Powerful Love spell caster to get your Ex lover back fast online.
    I'm so excited.
    My ex-boyfriend is back after a breakup,I’m extremely happy that will are living together again.
    My name is Silvia Soulez
    My boyfriend of a 4yr just broke up with me and am 30 weeks pregnant.I have cried my self to sleep most of the nights and don’t seem to concentrate during lectures sometimes I stay awake almost all night thinking about him and start to cry all over again.Because of this I end up not having energy for my next day’s classes ,my attendance has dropped and am always in uni and on time.Generally he is a very nice guy ,he ended it because he said we were arguing a lot and not getting along.He is right we’ve been arguing during the pregnancy a lot .After the break up I kept ringing him and telling him I will change.I am in love with this guy and he is the best guy I have ever been with.I’m still hurt and in disbelief when he said he didn’t have any romantic feelings towards me anymore that hurt me faster than a lethal syringe.He texts me now and then mainly to check up on how am doing with the pregnancy,he is supportive with it but it’s not fair on me, him texting me as I just want to grieve the pain and not have any stress due to the pregnancy.i was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr.Goodluck can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a spell for me. 17 hours later, my bf came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my bf are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr.Goodluck. If you have any problem contact Dr.Goodluck now and i guarantee you that he will help you.Email him at: goodluck05spellcaster@gmail.com
    Call or Whats-app him: +2348138654465
    or on his website. http://lovereunitingspell.webs.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. How to Get Your Ex Back After a Breakup or Divorce!
    Am sharing this testimony because am so happy, I thank Dr Unity for the great thing he has done in my life, After 12years of marriage, me and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me and moved to California to be with another woman. I felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a (Love spell) for me. 28 hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me and the kids so much, So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and the kids. Then from that day,our Marriage was now stronger than how it were before, All thanks to Dr Unity. he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that Dr.Unity real and powerful spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are here and you need your Ex back or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact this powerful spell caster now. Here’s his contact: Email him at: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com , you can also call him or add him on Whats-app: +2348071622464 ,you can also visit his website: https://unitysspelltemple.blogspot.com.
    Erica,United States.

    ReplyDelete
  5. After being in relationship with him for seven years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, his email: drosedebamenspellhome@gmail.com you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or anything. CAN NEVER STOP TALKING ABOUT YOU SIR HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS:drosedebamenspellhome@gmail.com CONTACT HIM NOW FOR SOLUTION TO ALL YOUR PROBLEM

    ReplyDelete