What is your opinion?

Child - Life,Challenges,Children do you tell him he is not good at something or do you say nothing
@Pekachu (1112)
United States
January 18, 2007 11:06am CST
I myself have a mentally challenged child so what i saw deeply effected me .Some of the participants on American Idol were obviously mentally challenged and it broke my heart to see them be laughed at and told they were terrible. .My son has notions in his head that he is gonna be a police man well he cant read better than a 5 year old and will never drive and I come right out and say to him no you will not be able to do that and he always retorts back when i graduate i will and i say ok we will see.He also belts out tones and is terrible and I tell him I dont think singing is not his forte' I tell him these things because i dont want him to have false hopes I of course say it to him in a loving way as much as possible but i believe i should be honest with him even though the school seems to give him plenty of false hope which really irritates me i think if he is not good at something he should be told so he can continue to search for what it is that he is good at .what are your views? What would you say?
7 people like this
55 responses
• United States
18 Jan 07
I believe that they were much nicer with some of the mentally challenged participants than with other contestants. They are honest, and brutally so, and though it's not fair to make fun of that person--would it be fair to coddle them and to treat them differently than everyone else? My mind is torn on the issue. I would be gentle and kind, and maybe stretch the truth a little bit. But enough so that they would get the drift. I don't know. I don't have very much experience with this sort of situation. It's hard to please everyone.
4 people like this
• United States
18 Jan 07
I agree. I thought that they were much gentler with the participants who appeared to have a problem.
• Australia
18 Jan 07
Well said. I agree... They say they dont want to be treated any differently and I dont believe it wouldve been aired if it was deemed wrong. Your heart broke because they were mentally challenged, but I bet you laughed along with everyone else when the NONmentally challenged contestants got up and tried huh? Think about it.
• United States
18 Jan 07
the young man with the small stature and large eyes, it was so obvious he had some sort of genetic condition, I was horrified at the way Simon made fun of him. The show has definitely gotten more meanspirited this year and we will not be watching the rest of the audition shows. Besides, the contests are pre-screened by production staff, so you know they only let a handful of the really bad ones through for the laugh value. Randy, Simon and Paula don't audition all those thousands of people themselves, it's all set up purely for the "enterainment" value of making fun of others.
• Philippines
19 Jan 07
Hi. I'm a special education teacher and I do know how you feel because these kids despite their situation have strengths in some ways...Just keep on loving your son. Yes, he is special that's why you should love him even more.
• United States
30 Jan 07
I was looking at the young man with the large eyes too. I also believe he has some kind of genetic condition. Having a genetic condition is not something he could change. The judges were very cruel. The auditions this year have not been very good. The show is focusing on the bad singers not the good ones. Every time you turn around, it's another commercial. I used to love the show but now I'm not so sure.
@mobyfriend (1019)
• Netherlands
18 Jan 07
I think you are very good in being realistic towards your child. But you can say to him that he is very good in something others are not good in. All of us have talents and so does he. A school should not raise false hope but seach for that special talent and stimulate that. Take care. You seem a very loving and caring parent.
3 people like this
@missyd79 (3438)
• United States
18 Jan 07
first let me say that i envy you, i don't think i would have the patience to raise a mentally challenged child. And i think you are doing the right thing, you are pushing him to find something that he will be good at instead of him focusing on something that he is not good at. I think all parents should do that even if their child is not mentally challenged.
3 people like this
@XxAngelxX (2830)
• Canada
18 Jan 07
I think you are doing the right thing by being honest and encouraging him to find things he is good at. As for American Idol, I have to agree with Brylee. Why would the parents or caretakers let these people try out? Especially knowing what the judges are like?!!
2 people like this
@blueskies (1186)
• United States
18 Jan 07
I agree that we have to be realistic with our children. My son, for example is an expert at racing video games. Because he is so good at the games, he thinks that he will be an excellent driver and can't wait to get his license in a few years. Yesterday, I had to tell him that, unless he can learn to control his anxiety, he won't ever be able to drive. That was so hard :( We do have some hope that medication might help him to be able to function as a "normal" person, but it's not something that we can try at this point. My daughter is your average teenager. She's tone-deaf. I've been very upfront with her about this since she was smaller. She wanted to try out for a musical and I told her that she probably wouldn't make it because she is tone-deaf. I then pointed out some of her talents so that she didn't focus on the negative. She tried out for that musical and didn't make it. It was a good learning experience for her and since I had told her she was tone-deaf, she didn't waste her time railing about the unfairness of the judges, she knew why she didn't get chosen. Now, she focuses on art, where she has real talent. I try to make both my kids understand that no one person is great at everything. We are all born with special talents and we should focus on those to be happy and successful in life.
• United States
18 Jan 07
I can definitely relate to all of this. My nephew is 10 years old and he is also mentally challenged and he also happens to be one of my favorite people in the world. He has dreams of becoming a race car driver (lol) and although I know that probably won't happen, I could never tell him that he can't. You can only protect them so much, in my opinion and discouraging dreams, however far fetched they may be, isn't a way to protect them at all. When he grows up, I'm sure that he will appreciate me for always believing in him far more than he would if I tried to protect him from disappointments. I think no matter what situation a child is in and no matter how big or small his/her dreams are, you should always give the notion that you believe in them. Although you may not think he is good at something, if it's something that he loves doing, does it really matter? My nephew LOVES to draw although his hand/eye coordination isn't all there but I would never EVER tell him that he shouldn't be doing it. He loves it and it makes him happy and that's all that will ever matter to me.
1 person likes this
@Pekachu (1112)
• United States
19 Jan 07
just because i am honest with my son and tell him he cant do something doesnt mean i dont believe in him i believe he will feel better about himself thriving in something he is truely good at and we wont find him on a stage with the world laughing at him because i wasnt honest its my job to protect him and lead him to succeed
• United States
19 Jan 07
I wasn't in any way implying that you don't believe in your son. I definitely understand why you would tell him that he probably won't be able to be a police officer...I couldn't imagine the disappointment if he actually thought he could do this and one day, it was taken away. I agree 100% with being honest about that. As far as singing is concerned, if it's something that he loves doing, why discourage it? Of course he can explore other avenues as far as a career is concerned and he should. For example, my newphew probably won't be able to be a race car driver but he is mechanically genius. So instead, we got him interested in the mechanics of race cars. I guess my point was, encouraging dreams is very important in any child's life. Of course you have to draw the line where certain things are concerned but if he isn't hurting anyone by singing, why not let him? Don't take him on American Idol or any rediculous show that takes advantage of the "entertainment" value of making fun of people. But if he has music in his heart, let him sing it.
1 person likes this
@Pekachu (1112)
• United States
20 Jan 07
I am honest because i want him to spend his time finding what he is good at so that he doesnt think oh my thinks i sing good im gonna be on american idol
@Perry2007 (2229)
• Philippines
20 Jan 07
You are a mother who cares for your child, you must know best, your child will believe you and you will be responsible to whatever your child will achieve, Think deep. Underestimate not the power that is also in your child. There is a saying that goes, If you can imagine it, you can become it. There is are also those dream killers, Encouragement and helping shape dreams are more helpfull than killing it.
@Pekachu (1112)
• United States
21 Jan 07
yes but they need to be realistic dreams in order to ever be possible of happening i am a very realistic person and my child tends to live in a fantasy world which is ok but we must have realistic dreams also
@sharon613 (2323)
• United States
31 Jan 07
If the show has the audacity to have on mentally challenged people, then they should in the allright have respect and not go mocking anyone.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Jan 07
I completely agree with you . It is apparent that some of those auditioners have some mental challenges and it disgusts me to see them exploited in that manner . I personally know that before they get to that stage to audition , they have another audition . they are allowed to go to that next step simply for ratings sake . IO personally don't like to bwatch the early steges of American Idol because i don't like to see challenged people be made fun of .
1 person likes this
@howard96h (11641)
• New York, New York
28 Jan 07
God bless you and your son. I admire people who have the strength to handle situations like yours. We all have dreams and he deserves to have his too, as long as he doesn't get hurt.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Jan 07
that is always sad when someone makes fun of a person with a handicap whether it be physical or mental. i think you're doing a good job with your son. false hopes can be terrible for the mentally challenged. he needs honesty from his parents no matter what it may be about. school can be really hard for the mentally challenged. people can be very harsh and i think the school system should respect the parents decesions concerning their wishes for their children.
1 person likes this
@SimplyMe (373)
• United States
19 Jan 07
For years I worked with mentally challenged individuals, and I felt very uncomfortable with what I saw on American Idol the other night. I find it hard to believe the judges and/or producers would want to be a part of something so cold. Couldn't anyone see that some of the people there had some troubles and just needed a softer, gentler approach? Why wasn't someone looking after them so that they would not be exploited in that way. I had to have a talk with my four young daughters about how some of those folks really should not be made fun of because of their challenges. They seemed to feel uncomfortable (especially my 14 year old) about how the show presented these participants. It's really a shame, and I am considering not letting my girls watch it anymore.
@lvhughes (545)
• United States
19 Jan 07
i think all mentally challenged children youg and old should be respected and protected at all cost. at deffently not lauged at or treated as a circus act. the people of the show should not have dont that to those children. but i think we should encurage them to live live to the best of their ability. Good luke with your son and God bless.
@cuhkiz (568)
• Philippines
19 Jan 07
Thats too offensive if your laughing at those peoples we know who's normal but mentally challenge. People who do such tornful things like that are so unfortunate to know that they're lucky to have the feeling of being normal. Being foul with that kind of situation just stated that those mentally challenged are more normal than those who is really normal but cant practice normality.
1 person likes this
@icequeen (2841)
• Canada
19 Jan 07
I have not watched that much of the show...However...I have not seen mentally challenged people on there? I just believe that some people actually think they have talent...when in fact they don't...and that is where they make a fool of themselves. However...I could be wrong...Anyway..for your son..I think you are definitely doing the right thing. He needs to find his path...and what he can and can't do. It is unrealistic to think that he could handle some stressful and potentially dangerous life situations. I do hope that he continues learning with your help and finds something that will make him happy and safe...and not made fun of....like so many others...
1 person likes this
@Marie2473 (8516)
• Sweden
19 Jan 07
I agree with you. i just wrote a subject about some similar thing... why their friends atleast do not tell them that they can not sing, and some of the responses i got was horrible facts =(
1 person likes this
@mobyfriend (1019)
• Netherlands
19 Jan 07
Coming back again in the discussion. I don't watch Anerican Idol but I've heard from american friends that last year of the year before that one of the finalists was a special education teacher (he worked with autistic children) so I'm absolutley horrified that the jury learned nothing from him. Personally I think the Idols competitions are pretty grim (we have one here) especially in the first stages. The jurors are harsh and show no respect.
1 person likes this
@sagiskt (23)
• Pakistan
19 Jan 07
Well, I also felt bad when the judges were laughing on that contestants (Specially Simon, when he commented on them, e.g, "you look like one of those creatures, having messive eyes, all open, live in the jungle"). Abviously, you will feel bad and discourage when someone comments upon you like this infront of you. Though, they were not up to the mark but the judges can refuse them politely. You are doing good Pekachu! you should help him to make his dreams come true but that dreams should be realistic, and you better know what dream can be realistic for him and that he can accomplish it. We, on our behalf, should support these special childs as they are also human and most importantly they are the part of our society.
• United States
19 Jan 07
It was really sad to see adults laugh at mentally challenged people. Believe it or not, I thought Simon was the nicest to these people. Except the "bush monkey" comment. But he can hold his laughter in where as Randy and Paula just let it rip. My son has a speech disorder(born 10 weeks early) and it is sad to hear adults make comments. What am I supposed to have him not talk? He won't ever improve if he doesn't talk. I encourage him to go beyond the bar. When he was having trouble writing, someone told me to shorten his name to Chris instead of Christian and I was angry. How will he get better if I make everything easy for him? Life isn't easy. But gosh if he had a crappy voice and said he wanted to go on American Idol, I would have been like no way! I think it is rotten when people let people go audition knowing how much they stink!
1 person likes this