Friday, January 6, 2012
Peer pressure is like a nasty virus that you just can’t get rid of. Chip, Corey, Jessica and Ashley are free thinkers and have never really had any major problems with peer pressure. But Ronnie is a different story. He seems to let it drive his every choice and decision.
On the first day back to school after the holidays, I mentioned to him that his backpack was a mess, stuffed full of old papers and ‘junk’. He said that everyone else’s was like that also.
During the holidays, he asked for a set of headphones for his iPhone. I looked at him as if he had lost his mind, and he just said that his friend at school had them. I gently reminded him that he was Deaf. He said his friend didn’t hear well either. I gently reminded him again that he was DEAF! He didn’t seem to care – all that mattered was that he looked like his classmates who have headphones attached to them at all times.
Those are two minor examples, but I am currently dealing with something more disturbing. Apparently one of Ronnie’s ‘friends’ told him that he shouldn’t eat too much or otherwise he would get fat. Since that comments, getting Ronnie to eat anything has been challenging.
Ronnie is a skinny kid, and he is very active. In addition, his disabilities require that he eat a healthy and very specific diet. He has always been a junk food junkie but I was slowly making inroads into healthier eating habits for him until….
I know, or at least think I know, that being a kid in a wheelchair, who can’t walk, who is Deaf, who must rely on medical interventions for even the most basic of bodily functions can’t be a fun state of affairs. I try really hard to be sensitive to that, and as with all my children, make sure that he takes part in activities that reinforce his abilities rather than his disabilities.
And the last thing I need is some other kid telling him to stop eating!
So what would you do? How would you convince him that not eating is not an option, and even more, how would you help him move past the whole peer pressure thing?