Tag: Families

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?

Children’s Holiday Needs
Children’s Holiday Needs

I want to tell you parents something about children’s holiday needs because I really get kids. I am pretty much a kid myself, as a lot of you know.

If your kids are facing the holidays without a “whole” family you have to try to understand the sadness and worries that they have.

Sometimes a family isn’t “whole” because someone has passed. Sometimes the reason can be that a parent is away from home for the holidays or sometimes it can be because of a divorce. You need to understand that the first time without a “whole” family is the hardest but even after that it is still hard.

Children’s Holiday Needs

There are a few things that you can to help your children’s holiday needs do so that things will go better. A good start is to ask them to share their concerns and as they do, really listen. Listen to what they say and pay attention to what they don’t say too!

Kids often hold back from sharing their feelings because they don’t want to add more sadness to the situation. It helps so much to have a parent or parents who let kids know that their children’s holiday needs and what they are feeling is okay and in fact expected and very normal. When parents listen and are understanding, kids feel better. That’s the truth!Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 5.20.07 PM

It’s okay if you are sad about your “damaged” family situation but please for the sake of your kids, don’t be selfish about it. Think of children’s holiday needs  this Christmas Season. They need your help. It’s a great idea to try to make new traditions that will help you and your kids feel better about the different family situation. Let’s say that you always celebrated in a certain way, try to think of a new and different way to celebrate. Maybe inviting other people to celebrate with you could help everyone feel better..

Another really good thing to do is try to involve your kids in the decisions about what you will do as a family to celebrate the holidays. It’s always a good idea for kids to be able to have their friends with them so put out an invitation or say the door is open for all of their friends to visit or celebrate with your family.

If you have any questions just ask. I have a lot of parents and kids who have helped me to be aware of new and different ways to celebrate.

Everyone Needs Help
Everyone Needs Help

everyone needs helpEveryone needs help sometimes and that’s okay! Sometimes parents or teachers can help. Other times it can be friends you know or friends you get to know that can help. Everyone needs help especially if we feel different or can’t do something that the other kids can do or do better. Sometimes everyone needs help  just because! I learned thateveryone needs help it’s okay to ask for help and it’s even okay to accept help from others when I don’t ask. After all help can really make us feel like others care about our well being. Being alone when we feel sad doesn’t make things better. In fact it usually makes us feel worse. Look at this picture of me in my red wagon. Will I be able to go anyplace if someone doesn’t help me? I don’t think so!

Look at my new friend Pedro. He was feeling very sad because he couldn’t get the basketball to go in the basket. He had never played basketball before so he wasn’t good at getting it in the basket like the kids who shot hoops their whole lives. I told him not to worry. I told him that everyone needs help sometimes… even me! I told him that I couldn’t get the ball in the basket either because I couldn’t throw a ball. I could only play fetch.

Everyone needs help sometimes!everyone needs help

A little while later, Pedro met his new best friend. His name is Alex and he told Pedro that he couldn’t get the basketball to go in the hoop very often either. Then he told Pedro that he was really good at playing the guitar. Pedro stopped crying and he told Alex that he always wanted to learn how to play the guitar. Alex told him that he would teach him and asked him if he wanted to come to his house after school one day. Pedro was so happy.

So now you maeveryone needs helpy be wondering if I am still in my red wagon just waiting for someone to come and pull it for me. Well… Guess what? Everyone needs help sometimes so I barked loudly and shouted. “Hey Sally, please come and help me.” Sally came and started to pull the wagon. She said, “Don’t worry Rugby. Everyone needs help sometimes… even me!”

I am your friend Rugby Jones and don’t you ever forget it!

Moving Away

moving awayDo you know how hard it is on kids when they are moving away and changing schools? Well, I can tell you that it’s really hard. There are a lot of reasons and adults need to understand what they have to go through so that they can help to make it easier for them.

Don’t ever lie to your kids about moving away but that doesn’t mean that you should tell them things that are not meant for children to know. Remember that adults should deal with adult things and children should only need to deal with children’s things.

Don’t make promises about moving away that you can’t keep. That may help in the beginning but it won’t help later on. In fact it will usually make things worse because the kids will be disappointed plus they won’t believe things that you tell them in the future.

The most important thing to remember is that kids need to feel safe, secure and loved. Moving away to a bigger or better house really doesn’t matter to kids. They are afraid of changing schools and friends and being uprooted from all that they have known.

Moving Away

Take the kids to visit the new school they will be attending. It would be very helpful if they could meet some of the kids and that way they will know kids when school starts. That will make them feel a little more secure.

It will also help if the kids can see the new house or apartment before they move. It will also help if they know they can take their toys and pets with them.

Pets really help kids to feel happier if they move away or when life changes. Even though I think the best pets are dogs, having dogs isn’t always possible. Another good pet is a cat. Sometimes kids like gerbils and guinea pigs. If none of these are possible, fish can also be good pets.



Military Heroes

IMG_4256There are some other things that I should tell you about me because they are very important to my story. I am very proud of military heroes. In fact my human grandfather went to West Point. He graduated in 1918. How cool is that? He fought in World War I and in World War II.  My human mom used to go to the Army-Navy football games and visited West Point often. She even went to my human grandfather’s 50th West Point class reunion and that was a very special time because there were so many military heroes there. The picture above is of the four living graduates that year. My human grandfather was the man on the right.

My mom learned at a very young age that living in the United States of America was one of the greatest gifts anyone could be given. Every time the American flag is raised and the National Anthem is sung, I see tears in her eyes. She is so proud to be an American and so am I! She taught all of her kids that pride in America is very important. Being an American means that we should defend our country in anyway we can.

Kids can help to support our country by being kind and obeying the law. They can show respect for our flag and all that it stands for. Sometimes kids need to do even more because they have loved ones who are in the military. When their moms or dads or aunts or uncles or older siblings go away in order to protect our country, it can make them feel very sad. They need to try to remember that they are military heroes no matter what kind of job they do in the military.

Military Heroes

It’s okay to feel sad. Anyone would be sad when someone they love goes away. Sometimes when their loved ones come home, they act differently. Sometimes they get hurt and their injuries make it difficult for kids to understand and handle. My human uncle went to Vietnam when my mom was in high school. She remembers how worried her family was while he was away. Sometimes listening to the news can cause kids and adults to worry. That’s why I don’t like to listen too much to the news.military heroes

If you know someone who is in the military helping our country, you need to make sure you say thank you and try to understand how difficult it is for them. If you see a soldier in a wheelchair or with any other kind of injury, you can hold a door open or you can tell them how proud you are of their efforts. Don’t forget okay? Remember they are all military heroes.

One other very important thing. You should never let the American Flag touch the ground because that shows disrespect.

Enjoy Rugby Jones? Please spread the word :)

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)