After I had some dental work done recently I explained to the boys what was done. Jaron asked me "Do I have to get fake teeth?" Because he is missing his two front teeth and the two beside those where the cleft was. I tried my best to explain to him that everyone has different teeth and he will need braces and maybe some fake teeth. to fill in the space. We'll just have to wait and see. But I assured him that I love his teeth and there is nothing wrong with him.
Then a couple days later he told Jacob, while they were playing outside, "That's it! I want to cut my lip off!" And Jacob came to tell me about it. I asked him why he would say that and he said I don't know. I said were you looking at Jacob's mouth and noticed he looks different? He said yes. I told him he has the best cleft lip repair I have ever seen and Dr. Mulliken did an AWESOME JOB! I reminded him that God makes us all different. Some people have fat lips, thin lips, wide lips, little lips. Everyone is unique and that's what makes us all special. I told him if we all looked exactly the same this world would be pretty boring. He agreed and we didn't talk about it again.
Then the next day while taking a bath he said "Hey mommy I had bully." I said what's his name? And he told me Thomas was saying mean things to him like "you're so little, you can't even swim" I said well he doesn't know you very well because you can swim. I asked Jaron if Thomas only said that one time or a lot and he said about "17 times". When I asked him if he told the teacher he said no and I also asked him if said mean things to Thomas he said no.
But now we are homeschooling and won't have to worry about bullies anymore. Well maybe when they are adults but they will be better equiped to respond.
My heart is breaking because Jaron is finally noticing he looks a little different and he's not happy about it. I want him to be confident in who God made him. I knew this day would come. I hope we as parents can do and say the right things to help Jaron feel more confident and not be ashamed of his mouth.
Our new neighbors have 4 children the youngest is a 6 year old girl and Jaron likes her. I told him to keep his cleft a secret and see how it takes her to ask about it. I said she might not even notice. And so he agreed we'll keep it a secret until one of the children asks.
Do you have cleft affected children or family members? If so were they bullied? How did you encourage them? Suggestions please....
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