Friday, August 13, 2010


I've had my first dose of hurtful language toward Nate....from his brother!

Somehow, Cody picked up the word, "stupid".  I think the boys at school have been throwing it around while they play outside.  They likely don't know the strength of the word.

A few nights ago, we were at our local Down Syndrome organization's annual event at a small amusement park.  While we were waiting for a ride, Cody very sweetly whispered in the ear of my friend, Megan, "Ben's stupid.".  She looked at me concerned about what Cody had just said of her 4 year old son with DS.  I couldn't believe he'd said that and talked with him about how hurtful that word can be and that I would like him to use nice words.  Then, last night, as we were getting into the car, he said, "Nate's stupid.".  While the comment about Ben was mostly embarrassing, the comment about Nate hurt.  It hurt deeply.  Not only because Cody had said it, but because I knew this was just the beginning.  I know Cody will grow to understand, and likely be an advocate for, Nate, but what about all of the other children out there?

When I dropped Cody off at preschool this morning, I had a quick chat with his wonderful teacher, Meg.  She agreed to do a circle talk about how words can be hurtful.  I'm sure it won't be the last time we collaborate about something like this. 

So, whoever came up with the saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."?  That's STUPID!



  1. I don't think they understand the meaning of the word. Kids hear it in all of the Shrek and other Disney shows. Morgan (my daughter with Ds) says it ALL of the time . . . "You're stupid!" And then my 4 year old and 2 year say it back to her. Over and over again. I try to ignore the word because kids use words when they know it gets a reaction but it's impossible to ignore her when her little brother and sister give her the reaction she wants. Anyway , what I am getting to is that I believe Cody doesn't equate Down syndrome with stupid but is just using that word and would say it about any child at this point.

  2. Danielle, I think you handled this Beautifully. Kids say So Many things they don't Understand, let alone Mean. ~ As a Momma, I can say that thinking about this situation happening in our life has caused me the Most Heartache and has been Most Thought Provoking as well. I have had to Really Pray about this... And I have decided that I want My Act to be that of Extending Grace...when I want to REACT and use a Bar of Soap! ;) Granted Most of my run-ins with this has been with Adults...Who Should Know Better!

  3. Ah that is so hard... sounds like you handled it appropriately. Cody is still a little guy and it is "cool" to say what your friends are saying. The hard part for me is when adults say things like this... I have heard so many times that Harrison is "crazy" from adults. Unfortunately he falls into the "hidden disability category". Adults need to model appropriate behavior for their kids - very important.