Little People, Big Lesson

Written by mom - One Comment

The other day I took my “Littles” to Target. While there, we ran across a couple shopping together who happened to be Little People. As we strolled by with our cart my two year old pointed at the man and said loud enough for him to hear, “Look at him! He’s smaller than me! He’s smaller than me!”

I was mortified but didn’t want to make the couple feel any more conspicuous, so I calmly and quietly told him, “People come in all shapes and sizes. It’s not nice to point at them and talk about someone like that.”

To which my five year old replied, “Yeah! But he sure is puny for an adult!” All of this within ear shot, of course. I repeated my previous words of wisdom and nonchalantly continued on my way. I tried to appear as if it weren’t a big deal… just kids being kids. Who knows what the couple was thinking? They are probably used to this sort of reaction, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying.

A similar thing happened a couple of weeks ago at a Chinese restaurant here in town. We were on our way out after eating their buffet. A group of mentally challenged adults were leaving at the same time. An obese man with Down’s Syndrome was sitting by the exit door, eating an ice cream cone. Son #3 (seven years old) pointed at him and said to his older brother, “Look at that guy! Hey! Look at that guy!” My husband shuttled the boys out the door lickety-split. When we went outside he calmly explained to our son that it wasn’t polite to point at someone and talk about them in that way. My husband proceeded to ask Son #2 to put himself in that man’s position. Would he want someone to point at him and talk about him like that? All the boys chimed in and agreed that they would not want to be treated so rudely.

I think the Target incident was far worse over all, because the Little People had normal intelligence and will definitely remember what happened. However, the lesson remains the same for both circumstances… People come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s not nice to point at and talk about someone. I know the boys’ rudeness was simply curiosity and not malicious in any way, but that doesn’t make it any less embarrassing. Here’s hoping they handle their enthusiasm in a more subdued way in the future.

Published on April 26th, 2007 - One Comment
Filed under: Daily Life
digg this - stumble it - save to del.icio.us

Related articles...

If you found this article useful, please sign up to receive free e-mail updates:

You will receive only the daily updates, and can unsubscribe at anytime.

Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. I’ve been in a similar situation, involving an obese man at the grocery store. My son said, “That man is so big! He’s bigger than dad!” He wasn’t trying to be rude, he was just noting something he found interesting.

    I also rushed my child off lickety split, but as soon as I left the store, I reconsidered. Would the man have wanted me to do that? Wouldn’t it have been more polite for me to say, “Why don’t you say hello to the man?” instead of allowing my feeble attempt to spare the man’s feelings to insinuate to my son that there was something shameful about the man’s size. I just didn’t want the man to be embarrassed, but I think he would have been less so if I had said, “Yes, that man IS big! Why don’t you say hi?” It isn’t as if the man would just be finding out that others saw him as a big guy.

    I mulled this over for hours that night because I felt terrible about it, and decided that I reacted incorrectly. People with disabilities have told me that they don’t mind at all if a child notices their missing hand (or whatever) and asks about it, but they don’t like to be whispered about or treated as if something is wrong with them.

    Comment by Jen — Apr 26th 2007 @ 5:50 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Get free updates...

Articles via e-mail:

Search this site...

Sponsors...

Popular topics...

Recent articles...

Recent comments...

  • Nan: Believe me when I tell you that allowing disrespect from a child creates...
  • Misty: Hello all… It has been a few years since I last posted and...
  • heather: This is for lovely Maria, who obviously doesn`t understand. I will...
  • Brittney: My son is just 3 and a half years old and was recently diagnosed...
  • Mary Gulledge: Yes they do personalize the autographs…I got one for my...
  • Brooke: Thanks Amy for responding. I have decided to wait on the Intuniv for...
  • Amy: Hi Brooke! My son, now 9 yrs old, has been on Intuniv for 2 and a half...
  • Brooke: My daughter, 10 years old, is in the fifth grade. She is struggling...

Most talked about...