Author Topic: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.  (Read 18749 times)

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PeterM

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #45 on: October 14, 2012, 04:06:07 PM »
I really like the "You're upsetting my child" comment, for times when no response simply doesn't work.

I wouldn't advise using this one, because cretins like those you describe aren't likely to care. They might well think you and your child need to be upset enough to realize you should stop doing what they think you shouldn't be doing.

StarFaerie

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #46 on: October 14, 2012, 08:53:50 PM »
Can I suggest that you ignore any dirty looks or muttering entirely? It'll reduce your stress level markedly.

For the dirty looks, how can you even be sure that they are giving you a dirty look and that isn't just their normal look? I know I've been accused of giving people dirty looks when I was just staring into space. Assume the best of them (ie it wasn't a dirty look, just a look), give them a nice friendly smile and get on with your day. Otherwise you'll spend a lot of your time worrying about what others think and that's a killer.

Muttering, if you can't hear it clearly, again assume the best and pretend they are just repeating their shopping list.

If they approach you, then you need to worry about it and take action.

Danika

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #47 on: October 14, 2012, 08:59:03 PM »
Can I suggest that you ignore any dirty looks or muttering entirely? It'll reduce your stress level markedly.

For the dirty looks, how can you even be sure that they are giving you a dirty look and that isn't just their normal look? I know I've been accused of giving people dirty looks when I was just staring into space. Assume the best of them (ie it wasn't a dirty look, just a look), give them a nice friendly smile and get on with your day. Otherwise you'll spend a lot of your time worrying about what others think and that's a killer.

Muttering, if you can't hear it clearly, again assume the best and pretend they are just repeating their shopping list.

If they approach you, then you need to worry about it and take action.

This is probably the wisest course of action, if you can pull it off.

Do you like to sing, at all? Maybe you and or son could sing a song or two every time you are getting him in or out of the car. Then, you won't hear other people's voices at all.

mmswm

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #48 on: October 14, 2012, 10:26:29 PM »
Thank you everybody for your kind replies.  I do try to ignore, but it does upset me. Like I said before, I have a really hard time doing anything but smiling pleasantly, even when I want to rip somebody's head off. I hate to come across as mean or rude. I think I just needed "permission" to not smile all the time. Today we went to the movies.  It was a great trip!  My little one LOVES ghost stories and has been begging me for at least to years to go to a scary movie, so that's what we did (and yes, I know it seems strange with his aversion to chaos, but scary stories seem to be the exception...his favorite tv show is the "A Haunting" series).  I didn't notice anybody making any rude comments or dirty looks, but I was much more comfortable and confident in the event that I did.  Maybe it's the confidence that I needed.  You guys helped me with that, so I am very grateful.  :)
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

camlan

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #49 on: October 15, 2012, 06:18:09 AM »
mmswm, this may take some time, but I think you need to work on not smiling. A person who is not smiling is not mean or rude. They are simply a person who is not smiling. You do not have to be smiling all the time for people to think you are nice.

In fact, by smiling all the time, even when other people are being mean and rude to you and your children, you are doing them a disservice. By smiling, you allow them to think that their actions are correct, that they have a right to give you dirty looks and make mean comments about you.

When your children misbehave, do you keep smiling at them and using a pleasant tone of voice? Or do you stop smiling, gradually use a sterner tone of voice, and by other body language clues, show them that they are beginning to tread on thin ice?

Start training all these random bystanders that they are in the wrong. Well, they are probably not going to come to the realization that they were wrong based on one encounter with you. But don't train them that it's okay to make rude remarks to strangers.  When they give you a dirty look, try shooting a stern look right back at them. Don't be nice and pleasant. You don' t have to be nice and pleasant to avoid being rude. You can be blunt and a bit stern while still being perfectly polite.

My SIL, who has a 13 year old son in a wheelchair, is a tiny little petite woman of about 5 feet. When she gets harassed by bystanders about the handicapped placard or where she's parked, her body language is not defensive. Instead, she stands tall (well, as tall as she can), she looks the other person right in the eye, and says, "My son needs the handicapped access," in a strong, firm, authoritative voice. Then she breaks eye contact, and turns back to what she was doing, dismissing the other person completely. She takes control of the situation; she doesn't let the situation control her. And most of the time, the other person slinks away, aware that they have crossed a line they shouldn't have.

Think of it as teaching your children to stand up for themselves.

I'm sorry you have to deal with this. It sounds like you have enough to deal with as it is.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Herim

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #50 on: October 15, 2012, 06:36:29 AM »
Sad to hear about your son!
« Last Edit: October 15, 2012, 06:38:26 AM by Herim »

Yvaine

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #51 on: October 15, 2012, 08:45:40 AM »
To answer your original question, the child is the owner of a placard when they are present in the car.  If they are not in the car or not being picked up in the car the placard is not for use.

I think you've misread the subject line and transposed a couple of words. The OP is not asking "When is a child the owner of a handicapped placard?" I'm sure she knows not to use the placard if the child isn't there.

rashea

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #52 on: October 15, 2012, 10:40:39 AM »
I have practice with those looks. I'm semi-disabled these days, but I've been more so in the past. I suggest ignoring what you can, and responding with "I've assessed our needs, and this is a need" at other times. One tip, if you put a bumper sticker or something on the car that addresses disability awareness it can help. Also, check over at butyoudontlooksick.com for tips, and support for your son. Especially read the Spoon Theory if you haven't. It can really help give you permission to park in those spots even on "good days". Do you really want him spending that precious energy walking to and from a store rather than playing? 
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

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Giggity

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #53 on: October 15, 2012, 03:25:51 PM »
I'm looking for a good way to deal with people who say nasty things or give me dirty looks when I park in a handicapped space when I have my 10 year old son with me.

Dealing with those, that's easy. Ignore them. You don't *know* the reason they look like that, any more than they *know* the reason you have a placard. That might just be their face.
Words mean things.

mmswm

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #54 on: October 15, 2012, 05:13:01 PM »
Camlam, thanks for the advise.  I really do need to work on the idea that not smiling doesn't equate to being rude. I think you're right.  I think by smiling all the time I'm giving people the idea that I can be walked on, and I think this particular trait probably spills over into other areas of my life.

Hotdish, you are, of course, correct.  I don't know for sure that the dirty looks are pointed at me for a particular reason.  When I can overhear comments, it's a different story, but I can't tell from just the looks.  I guess I've just gotten sensitive over time, and I need to work on not being so sensitive.  I know I'm in the right by using the space when my son is with me, and I need to just stand a little taller and not let those things bother me.  This will take some time, but I promise I will work on it. 
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

Giggity

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #55 on: October 15, 2012, 05:20:16 PM »
I don't know for sure that the dirty looks are pointed at me for a particular reason.

Really, you don't even know that they *are* directed at you. It could be someone behind you. It could be a plant they don't like or a store they don't patronize. It could be that that's just how they look all the time.
Words mean things.

Moray

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #56 on: October 15, 2012, 05:23:02 PM »
I don't know for sure that the dirty looks are pointed at me for a particular reason.

Really, you don't even know that they *are* directed at you. It could be someone behind you. It could be a plant they don't like or a store they don't patronize. It could be that that's just how they look all the time.

That's a good point. I've been told that I look like I'm about to cut someone when I really concentrate.
Utah

RingTailedLemur

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #57 on: October 15, 2012, 05:35:42 PM »
mmswm, did you submit your story to Not Always Right?

http://notalwaysright.com/not-all-knights-are-in-shining-armor/24174

I hope so - I'd hate to think there was more than one person out there who'd run over a walker.

mmswm

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #58 on: October 15, 2012, 05:46:27 PM »
mmswm, did you submit your story to Not Always Right?

http://notalwaysright.com/not-all-knights-are-in-shining-armor/24174

I hope so - I'd hate to think there was more than one person out there who'd run over a walker.

That would be me. I mostly submitted it because even after a few months, thinking about the young men that helped me after the old man left still makes me smile, and they really did restore my faith in humanity.  Even though I never caught their names, I hope they see the story and know how much I really appreciated what they did that day. 

On a side note, that's actually my second story that I've had published on the "Not Always" sites.  A few months back I had one on "Not Always Working"

http://notalwaysworking.com/?s=accidon%27t
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

Danika

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Re: When a child is the "owner" of a handicapped parking placard.
« Reply #59 on: October 15, 2012, 06:50:50 PM »
I don't know for sure that the dirty looks are pointed at me for a particular reason.

Really, you don't even know that they *are* directed at you. It could be someone behind you. It could be a plant they don't like or a store they don't patronize. It could be that that's just how they look all the time.

I was thinking of this thread today and I agree with this.

Today, at an event with lots of people, I saw a lady pushing a stroller with a young boy inside. I saw something unusual next to his face and was worried that he might have just gotten injured and his mom didn't know so I looked more closely. I try my best never to stare in public but I wanted to be sure in case I should tell his mother he was bleeding or something. It turned out that it was some kind of apparatus, I'm not sure what for, but he didn't look recently injured so I had no reason to be concerned and so I looked away.

Then I thought of this thread and wondered if the mother thought I was staring at or making fun of her child - and I certainly would never do that. Hopefully, a lot of the folks who look at you and your child are just wondering "what disability does that child have?" and are curious and looking hard to answer their question. Hopefully, they mean nothing and are just too conspicuous.