CurlTalk

How do I

claudine191claudine191 Posts: 8,220Registered Users
deal with a little boy who keeps saying mean things about Polly, now that she has three legs?

I've tried disagreeing nicely, but it's not working. Is he projecting? Why would a kid have a reaction like this? I realize I can't know for certain, but should I keep countering his comments, or ignore him?

For the record, Polly is an insanely sweet dog who loves everyone. Most people love her. He says nothing about her breed, just her "condition."

I'm flummoxed.
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Comments

  • PerriPPerriP Posts: 6,613Registered Users
    I suppose smacking him is out if the question? :)

    Do you see him regularly? Are there others around (is he trying to be cool for an audience?) Is he someone you know or someone you see now and then? Age? (Did you tell us that already, if yes, sorry) do you know his family?

    Does he appear to have any kind of compassion/empathy?
    Are they mean about her or things like "you should have put her down"? (I got this a lot with my one-eyed blind dog -from adults)

    Eta I'd make her a cape, Super Polly, because look how amazing she is with only three legs. I'd also employ "broken record technique", come up with one sentence and that is the only way you respond to him. I.e. "polly has been through a lot, and saying mean things really is not nice"

    And... if he's very young and being mean it's quite possible that is the kind if thing he hears regularly, emphasizing that it's not okay and that Polly has been through a lot will help him (hopefully)

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  • PerriPPerriP Posts: 6,613Registered Users
    Apparently I have a lot to say on this. You could also try a very firm, direct "please do not say mean things like that to Polly" then when it happens again "I've asked you not to do that, please stop", gradually getting to a very firm "press do not speak to us if your words are going to be ugly"

    You don't have to talk to him, could be it's the attention he likes, or possibly the only attention he gets, in which case "I really like stopping and talking to you Billy, but if you are going to say mean things, I won't be able to chat with you any more". And then leave.

    If he's hollering across the street at her, I'd ignore it and depending on if I knew his family or not, I'd address it. Or I'd address it with him when I didn't have Polly with me

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  • The New BlackThe New Black Posts: 16,738Registered Users
    I like Perri's direct approach. But I missed the part about her losing a leg. When'd this happen?
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  • Fifi.GFifi.G Posts: 15,490Registered Users
    I tend to not mince words with the wee ones. I would tell him to stop, and mean itS And if that did not work, I would make fun of his ears. There does not have to be anything wrong with them, you just have to make him believe it. "J.H.C! Look at the size of those things!"
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • multicultcurlymulticultcurly Posts: 5,132Registered Users
    Fifi.G wrote: »
    I tend to not mince words with the wee ones. I would tell him to stop, and mean itS And if that did not work, I would make fun of his ears. There does not have to be anything wrong with them, you just have to make him believe it. "J.H.C! Look at the size of those things!"

    And then he will have a complex about his ears for the rest of his life. Lol

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  • Fifi.GFifi.G Posts: 15,490Registered Users
    ^ That's the plan ;)

    ** Childhood Public Ear Humiliation PSA: According to my (mean as a snake, hair pulling, insult slinging) little cousin, it doesn't have any lasting effects. He would know. Unfortunately, it no longer makes him mad either. **

    Hopefully he will stop, Claudine. Kids... They can be meanies.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • reenireeni Posts: 149Registered Users
    You could just ask him why he's saying mean things about her. Maybe he'll tell you.
    What a WONDERFUL day!!
  • PoPo Posts: 2,607Registered Users
    What is he saying exactly?
    3c/4a
  • CurlyCanadianCurlyCanadian Posts: 10,771Registered Users Curl Dabbler
    Kick him?
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  • CurlyminxCurlyminx Posts: 5,581Registered Users
    I have no answers. I was watching a documentary on thalidomide people and there was a scene with a kid laughing at the two thalidomide people going down the street. A bigger kid stepped in and did his best to stop the kid from teasing them. It didn't work totally, but it left me feeling helpless in moments like this. What do you say? How do you cause change in someone that is being mean? I wish I knew an answer. I'd go with PerriP's suggestions. See what happens. Its not like I have another idea and doing nothing isn't working.

    Good luck. I'm sorry that you are dealing with this. Polly is awesome and this kid needs to know now.
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  • scrillsscrills Posts: 6,700Registered Users
    Beat him. In fact, what's his address. I will do it myself. Maybe I could bring my brother along too
  • CurlyminxCurlyminx Posts: 5,581Registered Users
    I vote Scrills punching the kid in the throat. And her brother kicking him in the shins.

    Who's in?!?!
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  • PerriPPerriP Posts: 6,613Registered Users
    Curlyminx wrote: »
    I vote Scrills punching the kid in the throat. And her brother kicking him in the shins.

    Who's in?!?!

    Only if the getaway vehicle is the pink scooter

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  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,495Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    What is he saying and how have you responded before? How old is he and are his parents ever around?

    I would say something like, "I hope you never get into an accident and lose one of your legs."

    Beyond that, I would ignore him bc it's not like Polly can understand what he's saying. If you see his mother, tell her...maybe ask her if he doesn't like dogs bc he keeps saying...

  • curlypearlcurlypearl Posts: 11,970Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    It's unfortunate that you can't sic Polly on him. He's a brat.

    Seriously, I don't know. What would make a child say mean things like that? I suppose glaring and approaching menacingly won't work?
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  • TRBLTRBL Posts: 5,289Registered Users
    Although some of the posts have really made me giggle, I really like PerriP's suggestions, especially those in her 2nd post.
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  • The New BlackThe New Black Posts: 16,738Registered Users
    PerriP wrote: »
    Curlyminx wrote: »
    I vote Scrills punching the kid in the throat. And her brother kicking him in the shins.

    Who's in?!?!

    Only if the getaway vehicle is the pink scooter

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  • geminigemini Posts: 3,325Registered Users
    I would say (calmly, but firmly), "How would you feel if you lost a leg and someone made fun of you? It's not nice -- don't do it."
  • claudine191claudine191 Posts: 8,220Registered Users
    There's a lot of good advice here. Thank you.

    The thing is, I get pretty rattled when he says mean things. He acts like her disability is catching. It's easier for me to consider the more violent suggestions because they mirror my real feelings, even though I know everyone's joking.

    I need to reread some of the above replies and try to work on keeping calm and behaving maturely. Unfortunately, when it comes to defending my pets, I'm not very good at that. I still hold a grudge toward an old lady who made fun of my poodle's name once (it was Irving, and he was a wonderful, wonderful boy).
  • CurlyminxCurlyminx Posts: 5,581Registered Users
    I like Gemini's approach. That way I get to say how I feel while trying to get him to understand why.

    Then when he continues, I punch him in the throat.

    Hey, I give opportunities. :dontknow:

    No one puts Polly in the corner.
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  • mrspoppersmrspoppers Posts: 7,223Registered Users
    How old is he? Depending on his age, he really might think it's catching. My sister teaches first grade and you'd be surprised at the things they think they can catch. They also say things without intending to be mean--it's just how they are.
    When are women going to face the fact that they don’t know their own bodies as well as men who have heard things?

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  • PoPo Posts: 2,607Registered Users
    I agree with Ms. Poppers. If he's still in elementary school, I wouldn't be mean to him. He might really be afraid or confused.

    Or to play devil's advocate, how do you know something isn't wrong with him?
    3c/4a
  • claudine191claudine191 Posts: 8,220Registered Users
    I like Perri's direct approach. But I missed the part about her losing a leg. When'd this happen?

    February. She broke it, and there was an infection. It was all very trying at the time, but she's fine: she runs and hops and jumps just like she used to.
  • claudine191claudine191 Posts: 8,220Registered Users
    Po wrote: »
    I agree with Ms. Poppers. If he's still in elementary school, I wouldn't be mean to him. He might really be afraid or confused.

    Or to play devil's advocate, how do you know something isn't wrong with him?

    Psychologically, you mean?

    Otherwise, he appears vigorously healthy.
  • PerriPPerriP Posts: 6,613Registered Users
    How old is he? Does he have friends? Adults who pay attention?

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  • claudine191claudine191 Posts: 8,220Registered Users
    He's about 8, I'd say. His mother is a SAHM.

    Frankly, I think he's a little weirdo.

    He stared at Polly today, but we ignored him.
  • PerriPPerriP Posts: 6,613Registered Users
    Good job not engaging with the staring. He really may not understand that it's not okay. Direct explanation and expected behavior is always good, should you wish to interact with him. Ignoring works, too

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  • PerriPPerriP Posts: 6,613Registered Users
    It's hard for me not to resort to using bad language.
    Ignoring is an excellent choice, then


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  • Jess the MessJess the Mess Posts: 5,844Registered Users
    I was born with one hand. I have about 3 inches below my elbow on my left arm. I have dealt with my fair share of teasing and stares as you can imagine. All you can do is rationally explain to that child what happened to Polly, point out that she can do everything every other dog can do, and leave it at that. Many times this works immediately. If it continues than I imagine he is not being taught tolerance and acceptance at home and there isn't much more you can do. Some people just can't accept differences in people or animals. Me and Polly can be twinsies :)
    High Priestess JessMess, follower of the Goddess of the Coiling Way and Confiscator of Concoctions in the Order of the Curly Crusaders

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