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claudine191 07-18-2013 06:18 PM

How do I
 
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.

PerriP 07-18-2013 06:28 PM

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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PerriP 07-18-2013 06:38 PM

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 Black 07-18-2013 08:15 PM

I like Perri's direct approach. But I missed the part about her losing a leg. When'd this happen?

Fifi.G 07-18-2013 11:02 PM

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!"

multicultcurly 07-18-2013 11:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fifi.G (Post 2192440)
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.G 07-18-2013 11:12 PM

^ 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.

reeni 07-18-2013 11:43 PM

You could just ask him why he's saying mean things about her. Maybe he'll tell you.

Po 07-19-2013 05:01 AM

What is he saying exactly?

CurlyCanadian 07-19-2013 06:27 AM

Kick him?

Curlyminx 07-19-2013 01:28 PM

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.

scrills 07-19-2013 01:36 PM

Beat him. In fact, what's his address. I will do it myself. Maybe I could bring my brother along too

Curlyminx 07-19-2013 01:43 PM

I vote Scrills punching the kid in the throat. And her brother kicking him in the shins.

Who's in?!?!

PerriP 07-19-2013 02:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Curlyminx (Post 2192636)
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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spiderlashes5000 07-19-2013 02:12 PM

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...

curlypearl 07-19-2013 02:38 PM

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?

TRBL 07-19-2013 03:15 PM

Although some of the posts have really made me giggle, I really like PerriP's suggestions, especially those in her 2nd post.

The New Black 07-19-2013 03:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PerriP (Post 2192645)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Curlyminx (Post 2192636)
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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I'll drive and we can all pile on.

gemini 07-19-2013 04:28 PM

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."

claudine191 07-19-2013 05:10 PM

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).


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