Dear Ann Landers, I am writing in response to "Managing in Mesa," the disabled woman who complained about people staring at her or asking questions.
I have a different question for her. How are children supposed to react to a person with a handicap if they are not allowed to ask questions? While I don't agree with being cruel or rude, I have always told my children that instead of just staring, they should ask questions. They have since delighted me as well as total strangers with their honesty.
My son once told a lady in line, "That's the nicest wheelchair I ever saw." She smiled and said, "Thank you. I've had it since I was your age." While she didn't go into detail, she explained she had been in a car accident many years before and told my son, "When you grow up, never drink and drive." I'm sure that woman, and what she said, made an indelible impression on my son. So you see, Ann, asking questions can be a good thing. -- Upfront in Vermont
Dear Vermont, Being forthright and honest is always the best way to go. That is how children develop integrity. The woman gave your son some very good advice as well as a fine character lesson.
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!
Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!
Children should be taught the difference between "asking questions" and asking personal questions. If they are unsure of the difference they can be taught to ask their parents later. Kids aren't dumb. They get it, IF they are taught.
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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:
Dear Readers, , My x-girlfriend who lived with my son and I for 16 years died of cancer. Prior before we knew she had cancer-she moved out because of an addiction problem. We did stay very close before she died. Her x-husband an attorney took over her finances and the burial arrangements. I being financially set was okay with that, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.