Tag: Diversity

Bullied? Me Too!

bulliedBullied? Me too! To everyone who has been bullied, I get what it feels like. I get that all their mean words and jokes make us feel sad.  Being bullied is the pits. Here is the thing that you need to remember: Bullies are losers and those of us who are different are winners because we have had to overcome a lot. We can show the ones who bullied us that we are proud of our differences and let them know that their unkindness won’t bring us down. At least it won’t for very long but we won’t tell them that part.

This is what happened to me. A lot of kids made fun of me and bullied me. They laughed because I was different. You see, I am a Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Pembroke Welsh Corgis don’t have tails like other dogs. So, what? I think having no tail is pretty cool, don’t you? (When you look at a Pembroke Welsh Corgi from behind, you will see just how adorable we are.) They also bullied me because I couldn’t run and jump and play like the other dogs. They said, “What good is a dog that can’t play fetch? You are no good.” Well, I showed them. And I’ll tell you how.

Guess what? My human mom got me a wheelchair and it is the best wheelchair in the whole world. I named my wheelchair Zoomie because it is so special. Don’t you like it when special things like wheelchairs have names? I sure do.bullied

Now that I have Zoomie, I can run and play and even play fetch. In fact, I can go very fast! Sometimes I go even faster than the other dogs and that is way cool. After I got Zoomie, I went up to one of the kids who bullied me and dropped my ball in front of him. “What’s the matter?” I asked. “Are you afraid that I can play fetch just as well as your dog? Go on, throw it and watch me run.”

When the bully threw the ball, I got it every time. After that, I went up to him and asked, “Don’t you feel bad that you made fun of me? If you don’t feel bad, you should because I am a very cool dude of a dog. And you need to learn that being kind is way cooler that being mean. The kids who are liked the most are the kind ones. Nobody likes bullies.”

If you want to know more about me, you can find my books on Amazon. The first is for older kids and it is The “Tail” of Rugby Jones – A Rascal’s Journey from Disability to Ability and the second one is a rhyming book for younger kids titled The Diary of a Different Dog – Rugby Jones.   They are both pretty amazing if I do say so myself! Oh, by the way… in case you didn’t know, I am Rugby Jones!

 

Bullied Kids = Depressed Kids – I Can Help Build Self-Esteem

bulliedBullied kids are depressed kids and I know that too well. Do you want to know why? Well, I’ll tell you. I have been bullied a lot and I know how it feels. It’s all about being different in some way. Kids who are like all the other kids usually are not bullied. You would be surprised at how even a little difference can cause unkind kids to bully. Parents may not have any idea that there is something about their child that can make him or her a target of bullying.

Here is an example of what I am saying. Oh! Before I forget! If you are new here, you might not know that I am a dog. In fact, I am a Pembroke Welsh Corgi.  That makes me very different because I don’t have a tail like other dogs. Pembroke Welsh Corgis don’t have tails! I bet you didn’t know that!

There is another reason that I understand bullying. I use a wheelchair because I had a bad accident. If you are interested in finding out more about me, you can look here.

Now that you know a little about me, I will go on with what I started to say.

The other day, my mom and I were visiting some friends that were having a pool party. My friend was very sad and at first, he didn’t tell me why. Then he “spilled” everything to me when the adults went into the house. Because we were alone, he told me that he was being bullied at school. It was hard to believe because he is one very cool kid. He is smart, handsome, athletic and very kind.

Bullied Kids = Depressed Kids – I Can Help Build Self-Esteem

He told me that he was being bullied at lunchtime because of what he ate. He has a sensitivity to some foods that have wheat, sugar, and dyes. That means he can’t have sandwiches or sweet or colored foods. His mom packs his lunch with nuts, meats, vegetables, fruits and stuff like that. He was very depressed and down in the dumps about it.

We talked for a long time and I listened to the things he had to say. Because I understand bullying, there were some ideas I shared with him to help his situation.  I could see that he was not as sad after we talked. And I was sure he would feel better after he saw the bullying kids the next time.

Please come back to find out what I said and how the kids at school reacted.

Don’t Go Near Him…Something Is Wrong With Him

don't be afraidDon’t Go Near Him

One day when I went to the pet supply store to get dog food, I took Rugby with me. It was a rainy day and there were very few people in the store. As always, Rugby was scoping out everything at his eye level. I was focused on my errand and we were walking in that direction when I heard people talking.

I heard a child say, “Mommy look at that doggie in the wheelchair.” Then I heard a woman’s voice saying, “Don’t go near him. There is something wrong with him. Let’s just go the other way. No. You can’t pet him. Something is wrong with him.” This was not the first time something like this happened.

It was almost like Rugby was telling himself what to do, “If they can’t come to me, I’ll go to them.”

At that moment, I felt Rugby pulling me down the aisle and around the corner to the next aisle where the children and their mother were. I saw the mother put her hands on her children’s shoulders and hold them. Rugby pulled me right over to them and then barked. It wasn’t a loud bark. It was more like a “woof.”

The little girl looked at her mother and asked her, “Mommy, can’t we pet him please?”  I don’t know if the mother was embarrassed or just confused but she still held their shoulders and said nothing. “Mommy, can we?”

I decided that I needed to put my two cents in so I said, “It’s okay. They can pet him. They won’t catch anything.” She gave me a questioning look and I told her that I knew that she was concerned and that Rugby wouldn’t hurt her children in any way, quite the contrary.

She released her hold on the children as if to tell them that they could pet him. I explained that Rugby had been in an accident and that he needed the wheelchair because of his paralysis.

As the children and Rugby interacted happily, she and I talked. When we were ready to say good bye, she told her children something that I will never forget.

“Emily and Alex, don’t ever be afraid of anyone who is different from you. Try to understand what they are going through and be kind because that is how you want to be treated.”

What a lesson those children learned on that day. What lessons are you teaching your children?

Meltdown or Tantrum?

girl-meltdownWe were in the store and saw a child having a meltdown. We felt bad for the child but we felt even worse for the mom who was trying to handle the situation. Not even 10 feet away from them stood a couple who started talking to each other in loud voices about how spoiled the child was.

It got even worse when they began to criticize the mother for not being strict enough with the child. Then they talked about how they would never have tolerated that kind of behavior with their own children. Everyone heard them and then the mother began to sob. It was time to step in and help. After all, that’s what we do!

Meltdown or Tantrum?

GUESS WHAT? We found out that the mom was dealing with her daughter who has Sensory Processing Disorder. She was exhausted and couldn’t handle the constant criticisms anymore. We asked the onlookers if they had raised  kids with special needs? They said that their children were very normal and that using special needs as an excuse wasn’t the way to raise a child.

Have you ever been critical of a parent who was dealing with a child’s meltdown in a public place?

Think about a few things and maybe… just maybe you will be more understanding. A tantrum and a sensory meltdown are two totally different things. A tantrum happens when a child doesn’t get something he or she wants or needs.

A sensory meltdown happens when the child feels overwhelmed!

Meltdown or Tantrum?

Maybe the noises in the store or too many things to focus on send a child with SPD into a meltdown. For onlookers, a tantrum and a sensory meltdown appear to be the same but they far from being the same. For the child with SPD, too many sensory inputs flood the brain and a meltdown is a way to release the pressure.

Have you ever tried to use a funnel to fill a bottle with some liquid only to see that too much liquid causes the bottle to spill over? Have you ever turned on a hose to fill a bucket only to see that the pressure of the water in the hose causes the bucket to spill over?  Both of these situations are only mild examples of what a child with SPD is feeling. Do you feel less critical? We hope so!!

 

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Differences Make Life Interesting

People worry about differences. Animals just deal with differences in the best way possible. This is Lucy and she has only three legs… not four.

She had an accident when she was a puppy and lost her fourth leg. Is she feeling sorry for herself? Is she worrying about her future and what her life be like with only three legs? NO! Lucy is waking up each morning and facing the new day with a positive attitude. Why? Because she gets it. Lucy gets that life is what we make it and differences are not the focus! Things happen. Good and and bad happens but we have a choice. We can live our lives with gusto and happiness or we can spend our lives feeling sorry for ourselves because we were dealt a bad hand. We can focus on what others have and what others can do or we can focus on life and all that it has to offer!

What a waste it is to teach children the message that they are not the same or that they have less than other kids. Wouldn’t it be better to teach them that everyone is different? That everyone has more or less than they do? That everyone comes from a different place and everyone has an issue? Wouldn’t it be better to teach them that color, race, religion, and every other difference is just that? A Difference and not a bad thing?

Think about it. Think about your own problems. Think about what problems others have and what is happening in the world today. Then… think about Lucy! Think about how she deals with adversity and how she faces each day.

Maybe… just maybe… you might begin to understand what Lucy, the three legged dog understands. Accept differences and embrace differences! Welcome everyone who is different because they may be the very ones who change your life for the better!

Enjoy Rugby Jones? Please spread the word :)

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)