Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Barbs

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


The children around us are growing up now. They have their own distinct personalities, and they are developing some clear interests in the world. This is amazing to watch. However, I have come to yet another realization about having a child who isn't so typical and still demonstrates a delay of a year or two.

Typical kids seem incredibly MEAN to me.

Sure, Erik's a pill to me and his father on a daily basis. However, he has quite obviously not yet developed the same assertiveness and aggressiveness that other children seem to have programmed in them for their survival. He doesn't know what it means to be competitive with his friends yet. He doesn't have a jealous bone in his body. His remarks about other children do not seem cruel like the ones I am hearing from other kids. This seems to have occurred overnight. Either I am incredibly deaf to what is coming from my son (a distinct possibility), or he just hasn't developed the sophistication required to sound like the others do. My money's on the latter.

It seems that lately I am shocked on a regular basis by what comes out of the mouths of typical children about Erik, especially now that his differences are becoming obvious to them. I don't believe all of these statements generated come from a mean spirit, but some of them seem to be taking on a distinctly nasty flavor. These things might not bother me at the time, but later I think about them and feel angry and sad for Erik. This probably stirs up memories of how difficult school was for me at times. I wonder what's to come in the future. A friend of mine reminded me that this is perfectly normal behavior from typical children.

I guess I wouldn't know.

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Blogger Noel said...

Even if it is typical behavior, it still should be address by parents. I know that when my older kids have said things in the past and I heard it, they were given an earful by me! Typical or not it is a responsibility to teach children that it is not okay. Maybe you are just a better parent and your son is secure in himself so he doesn't have to be nasty to others :) Abi understands more about relationships than most, she just doesn't have a mean bone in her body so those barbs don't come out of her mouth...but you know what Hannah never did son's on the other hand we have had to work a little harder with, especially the last couple of years.
Hang in there...maybe non-typical is not so bad!

6:43 AM  
Blogger Godfreyhouse said...

How does Erik respond to the commits? You don't have to have WS to treated different. Since Cain and Able, children have noticed differences in one another and expressed it in not so kind ways. I've learned you can't parent all the children. You can only parent yours.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

How sad is it that some have become so de-sensitized to that type of cruel & mean behavior, that they now call it 'typical'. If that's the case, I'll take non-typical any day. At least I will always be proud at yhe care and compasion Michaela shows towards others.

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Erik's Auntie Dee~ta said...

I have no wisdom to share... I grew up not liking mean kids! I would come home especially in grade school with my mom already knowing that I got into a fight with some kid on the playground for making fun of another kid! I do know that I am doing my very best on teaching my boys how to treat others...

Now that my boys are getting older and entering school and sports... I see and hear where some kiddos get their attitudes and so on... THEIR PARENTS!!! It is quite frightening!

Brian and you are wonderful parents and Erik is soooooooo secure with himself he will be just fine...I truly believe this!!!

4:31 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

I was mortified to hear some of the things coming out of the mouths of 5yr old kindy kids on the playground when Liam started school - Kids are really cruel, it seems any noticed "weakness" is exploited to the highest degree. Unfortunatly our kids may as well have a beacon on their heads flashing "tease me, tease me".
Jaiden is a very kind very thoughtful kid with absolutely no idea what personal space and limited control over his reactions to situations he has just started to understand what people are saying to him is mean, before he didnt get it. - the thought of him on the playground this year terrifies me -

6:24 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I agree with the other moms. It should not be acceptable behavior. My kids would be getting an earful.

6:30 PM  
Blogger Believer 1964 said...

Kids are awful, and I have the scars to prove it.

Kids are little people that think for the most part like the grown up world, only they haven't been taught that some things said are impolite or hurtful. Speaking one's mind is not always a good thing.

Children will encounter others who are different from themselves, but when they do, I think parents/caregivers have an invitation to communicate differences and similarities alike.

As a mother, I understand about protecting our children.

11:18 PM  
Blogger Aspen said...

I have noticed that as well. Daven snatches a toy out of another child's hand, he has never hit another child, and of course has never said anything ugly. Yes, I find it somewhat disturbing as well how ugly "normal" kids can be. My mama bear instincts come out quite often when I do see another child being ugly to mine.

7:42 AM  
Blogger Kerry said...

I think when Michael was around 4 or 5 I realized that there were some kids I did not like .. I was very suprised at myself. I was always going to have 5 kids, I was a perpetual babysitter - I loved kids!! To think there were kids out there I didn't like was un-me... now though there are LOTS of kids I don;t like and I'm not afraid to admit it! I think I am officially an adult. I have to say, in my experience, it is mostly the girls who are mean... I guess I do remember those days.

3:36 AM  

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