Ignorant comments: How to best handle them. Any good suggestions? - FamilyEducation
Ignorant comments: How to best handle them. Any good suggestions?
03/13/2008 at 08:54 AM

Hi all,

I'm writing w/ an issue that I'm sure we all share to some degree.  It really makes me angry when I hear comments from other parents or outsiders about my child and his behavior.  He's only 4, and he's a really sweet kid, but socially he has difficulty fitting in.  We are getting him help, and he does try hard.  But it's so frustrating and discouraging when others stare, make comments or even snicker at our son.  He's young, and he doesn't understand fully, and neither do his peers.  But it's the adults that surprise me most.  Some people seem to never grow up.  it's really sad because I want my son to have friends, but it's almost impossible to be social when you feel like ripping someone's head off!  How can I best handle these situations, and still expose my son to social settings w/out feeling hurt?  This is probably my biggest obstacle in this whole process.  Realistically speaking, I know we can't avoid every hurtful situation and become over-protective parents, but I'd like to at least feel there's a middle ground somewhere.  Please reply w/ any helpful suggestions you may have.  I also welcome any of your stories and hope that I can be of assistance to you as well.  Thank you for taking the time to read my entry.

Sincerely, concerned mom

As parents our job is to guide our children. If you react in a negative manner the child will pick up on this. It is hard to give advice on this because you give no details as to why your child does not fit well in social situations. We all believe we have the sweetest children. I have had my share of problems on the playground, and have never received a reaction that would make me want to rip someone’s head off. I think if you give specific scenarios you will receive a better response from others in the forum.


Dear SnglDad, Thanks so much for your reply. My son was diagnosed w/ a developmental delay and struggles w/ speech problems, comprehension, focusing, memory, processing, and sensory issues. In social situations, he doesn't always know how to express himself, and he often comes across as awkward. He also gets somewhat over-stimulated when there's lots of activity and many people. For example, in a larger setting like the baseball field, at the time of a game, my son runs all over the field, while his teammates will listen to the rules of the game and attempt to play it. Another example is the pool. My son LOVES the water (almost too much), and out of excitement, he splashes. This does not always go over well w/ certain people, which is understandable. But it is their reactions and unnecessary comments that bother me. I've heard everything from "Here's that kid again" to "He must be autistic/retarded" (which he's neither) to "He's interfering w/ the other kids. He shouldn't be here." And the worst part of it is, people will joke about the whole thing like it's funny. My son can't help how he is, and it's not like he's being malicious. He's just different. That shouldn't be a reason for people to put their 2 cents in. Don't they have anything better to do, like focus on their own children? Really. If they truly have a problem w/ my son, they don't have to be around him. They should just keep their comments to themselves. The only people that truly understand are those who are going through a similar experience. We live in a small town, so we've gotten to know the faces, and often see the same people at town activities. So, it's not like we can easily avoid these people. And why should we have to? We have every right to be there. We're all part of the same community. Yes, there are nice people in our town, but there's always certain others that manage to make an experience uncomfortable or hurtful. It's unfortunate because my son is a very friendly, good-natured kid. He deserves so much better. So when you say, "As parents, our job is to guide our children", I totally agree. But if people are going to make hurtful comments, my son needs to learn to stand up for himself. People need to understand that it's not okay to say those kinds of things and get away w/ it. I'm just looking for advice on how to best handle this, so I can set a good example for my son, and also feel better about the whole thing myself. Sorry this is so long. I guess I just needed to vent. I hope this gives you a better idea of what I'm dealing w/. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much. Sincerely, concerned mom

I used to have the same problem with my youngest child who has ADHD and Asperger's. It got to the point where I would not take him to any public places such as the park because I knew that would happen. It was very hurtful for both of us and I didn't want to put either of us through that. Now I wish I had done it differently. Why should we have to hide away. At the time I was going through a very rough time and didn't have the confidence to face people and challenge them. It would be so different now. I did however say on a few occasions to people ''You know nothing about my child or me, so what makes you think you can pass any judgements' . I don't know if it helped any, but made me feel a bit better.
You say you are getting help, so good luck. Let us know how you get on.

Dear junieg,

Thank you so much for your advice, and for sharing your story.  I will definitely try what you suggested.  I do think it will make me feel better saying something, rather than just holding back my feelings.  I really appreciate your help, and I will keep you posted on how things go.  It's nice to know there are people out there that truly understand what you're going through.  I wish you all the best w/ your children as well.  Please feel free to write w/ any issues, concerns or questions you may have.  Thanks again.

concerned mom 



Hi concerned. Glad to help. My children are all grown up now. My youngest who had the problems is now 18. He is at college training in car repair and getting distinctions in his exams although he hated school and had so many problems there. He is now doing what he feels is right for him.  One thing which made a big difference for him apart from Ritalin was Omega 3. Maybe that would be worth a try and it's entirely natural.

Hi again junieg,

I'm so happy to hear that your youngest son is doing well, and especially that he found a path for himself that brings him happiness.  It gives me a good sense of hope for my son's future.  Ritalin was never suggested as an option for our son at this point, and if we can avoid it all together, we'd prefer that.  But if it comes to a point where we feel it will benefit him, we'll definitely give it a try.  I've researched Omega 3, and I've heard good things, although when I brought it up to my son's Developmental Pediatrician, she thought it wasn't really going to do anything for him, so we never tried it.  However, we haven't totally ruled it out yet.  Which Omega 3 vitamin does your son take?  I'd love to look into it and run it past my son's dr. at his next visit.  I don't know what the dosage is for a 4 yr old, so I'd have to look into that too.  Like you said, it's all natural, so it won't hurt to try it.  I really appreciate your help.  I'll keep you posted on how my son is doing and also on our decision to try the vitamin or not.  Thanks again so much!

concerned mom


I learned about Omega 3 whilst I was studying childcare at college and have seen the results not only from a personal point of view with my son, but also professionally through my work. Here are some links. There are many more which you can probably find through the search engine.



Omega-3 fish oil can help children suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, a study published today suggests.

Results from "the largest, clinical-based omega-3 and omega-6 trial of its kind" bolstered views that fatty acids relieve aspects of the condition.
The tests were undertaken by the University of South Australia and an Australian government research body.

They involved 132 children aged between seven and 12 with ADHD symptoms and the active fatty acid used was Equazen's eye q supplement.
For 15 weeks, during the first half of the test, children were split into three groups.
One took eye q, the second took eye q and a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement, while the third took placebo palm oil capsules.
All children were then given eye q and the multivitamins/minerals.
At the end of the 30-week-long trial, almost half of the children taking eye q for the whole study saw "significant" reductions in ADHD symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, researchers said.

After the placebo group switched to the combined oil supplement for 15 weeks, they showed significant improvements in parent behaviour ratings and attention span.
The original eye q group continued to show improvements after an additional 15 weeks of taking the combined oil supplement in cognitive problems, inattention, restlessness, impulsivity and hyperactivity.
Taking a multivitamin/mineral supplement showed no additional benefits for ADHD symptoms, indicating that fatty acids are more important, it was claimed.
The results build on a trial funded by Durham County Council in conjunction with Oxford University, which found that 40 per cent of 117 children with learning and behavioural conditions who took eye q improved their reading and spelling.

Philip Calder, professor of nutritional immunology at the University of Southampton added: "The results of this latest trial add to the growing body of evidence showing that children with attention problems can benefit from increased intake of certain fatty acids."

The new trial results are published in this month's Journal of Developmental and Behavioural Paediatrics


Hi junieg,

Thanks so much for the links on Omega 3 supplements.  I did some further research and found a nutritionist in my area who I thought might be helpful as well.  I appreciate all your suggestions and positive feedback.

concerned mom


Glad I could help. I know what I went through with my son. Let me know how it goes.