Living with PC can be tough at times and sometimes, bullies make it even tougher! Bullying is when someone picks on you over and over again. The person doing the bullying feels they have more power over you in some way – either they are stronger, more popular or more confident. Bullying is something that is done on purpose and it can be done by one person or by lots of people acting together.
Bullies can hurt you physically by hitting you or stomping on your feet, but they can also hurt you emotionally by teasing you about your PC, calling you names or putting you down. Over time, bullying can make you feel pretty sad about yourself. But it’s really important to remember that you are not alone and there are ways to get bullies to stop. Remember, no one deserves to be bullied, whether they have PC or not.
There are lots of good resources out there on the best ways to handle bullies, but below are some of our top tips.
What you need to know: Bullying is 100% wrong. Nobody deserves to get bullied.
“No, I’m not contagious. Yes, you can play with me. I like toys too and playing tag.”
“We have different color eyes, different kinds of styles, different types of nails. What’s the difference?”
“Dealing with truly malicious bullies is one thing, where kids probably shouldn’t engage and should just laugh, turn around and walk away. But most kids aren’t malicious, just ignorant. They might hold their nose and say “eew! Gross!” when they see PC feet. If this happens to you, you can just say “it’s not gross. It’s just different. It’s called PC and sometimes it really hurts. If you want I can show you more and tell you all about it”. Try not to believe anyone who says it’s yucky, disgusting or gross (or that you should just take care of your feet more). Remember that’s it’s not your fault that you have this and feel sorry for anyone who feels so insecure that they feel like they have to belittle you for your condition.”
“I’m beautifully different and beautifully me. I’m so unique that there’s only 792 people that we know of in the world like me! I can’t control the fact that I was born different, but you can control the way you treat me!”
“As a child I never really handled bullies in a way I would condone others repeating. However, as a parent of a PC child I take a different approach. Every year I have a meeting with his new teacher first and explain it to her. Then I ask her when would be a good time to come in and talk to the class about it. I go up and introduce myself as “Wyatt’s Mom” and tell them we’re going to learn some super advanced biology today. Stuff that’s usually for big kids to learn but that they’re special so they get to learn it now. I tell them about PC, how it happens and etc. Just the basics in terms that are kid friendly. Then I tell them Wyatt has it just like I do and explain a little about how it looks/feels and what it’s like to have it and live with it. When I’m done I give them the chance to ask me questions and share how they feel about it. The only year he was ever teased was kindergarten because that was the only year I didn’t do it. He’s going into 4th grade now and we’ve never had another problem with bullying.”
“I just print the brochures off the PC website and give to any new teachers.”
“My boys were being spit on while riding the school bus. All the ‘spitters’ were kids from a stop not in our neighbourhood so no one knew our family. One day, Dave and I went with our boys to that bus stop where both kids and parents were waiting for the bus to come. We worked the crowd, showing them all our nails, explaining PC a little bit. Parents and children alike were interested. Needless to say, our boys were never bullied again on that bus after our little PR campaign.
I also actually role-played with my children as to how to explain what they had to other children. I even shrugged with my shoulder when I said after explaining, “No big deal.” Soon after, I was volunteering in the school when I overheard another child ask mine what was wrong with his nails. He basically repeated what we practiced including the shoulder shrug and the words, “No big deal”. The other child accepted it all as no big deal and moved on.”
PC Kids Corner: