Dealing With Difference: Helping A Child Who Stands Out

Photo by Rene Bernal on Unsplash                                                                     (Image Source)

Throughout life, people tell you to embrace your unique qualities. To celebrate the way you look and what you feel about different topics. These are lessons which most parents want to give to their children. But some differences are hard for a child to celebrate, and for some kids, standing out is their worst nightmare. Here’s how you can help your kid cope: 

The Silly Things

Children can be very cruel on the playground. Because children don’t yet fully understand or appreciate the impact comments and actions can have on other peoples’ feelings, they often target anything that’s different — even things as minor as hair color. (Children with ginger hair often bear the brunt of comments.) Of course, this doesn’t really make sense, and it can be hard to understand why children act this way. This sort of torment doesn’t even deserve a response from your child. Teach them to ignore or take these insults in their stride, taking power away from those giving them out. Also teach them to speak up and report things which cross the line.

Skin Conditions

There are a lot of physical ailments out there which alter the appearance of the body. Issues like baby eczema may be hard to cope with and can become very hard to deal with at school. There are a lot of treatments out there which can easy redness, soreness and flaking when skin conditions are at play. To find the best of these, you may need to do some research, even if it means talking to your doctor.  Doing so will make your child’s life much more comfortable, even going into the future.

Physical Disability

Spending time in a wheelchair or on crutches can be hard for a kid. Thankfully, most modern classmates won’t make fun of physical disabilities, and bullying should be a big concern. Instead, the big issue being faced will be exclusion. It will be hard for your kid to be included in activities which involve movement. To solve this issue, it could be worth investing in play equipment everyone can use. Limited funding can make it hard for schools to afford inclusive play equipment, so donations are very much appreciated.

Social Struggles

While school is primarily a place to  educate children, it is also a place where they learn their crucial social skills. In this minefield, kids with quirks which make it hard for them to perform socially can stand out.  Autism, for example, can affect a child’s social skills, and children with autism sometimes face widespread bullying. If your child is in this spot,  look for ways to raise awareness in the school community. If things get really bad, you may want to think about moving your child to a school which is better equipped to handle his needs.

Learning Disabilities

Kids are under a lot of pressure to perform at the same level as one another, and those who struggle can often find themselves being teased for it. The topic of learning disabilities have started to gain a lot of awareness in recent years. With a lot of people supporting development of therapy for these issues in schools, it is easy to see that people care. Of course,  you’lll still have to do a lot of work to support your child, including, perhaps, spending a lot of time teaching him when he’s at home.

Putting A Stop To Bullying

Bullying is prevalent in schools around the world. Children don’t have the same social boundaries as adults, and have a lot more freedom to get away with being mean to each other. Putting a stop to bullying will almost always require a big push from parents and the school. 

You may have to talk to teachers, sacrifice your time, and even spend some money along the way, but it will be worth it once you have a happier and more confident child.

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The Building Boys Bulletin

The Building Boys Bulletin Newsletter gives you the facts, encouragement, and inspiration you need to help boys thrive. Written by Jennifer L.W. Fink, mom of four sons and author of Building Boys: Raising Great Guys in a World That Misunderstands Males, Building Boys Bulletin includes:

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“I learned a lot about helping boys thrive over the past 20+ years — most of it the hard way! I’m eager to share what I’ve learned to make your path a little easier.”   – Jennifer

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