Saturday, April 14, 2018

Age: appropriate

Sometimes it feels like I log in here to write the same things over and over. Here I go again. And let me be clear: I post this with Bud's permission.

The other day, Bud told me that he was sad because someone told him that Blues Clues was for babies. Bud loves Blues Clues. He also loves being a young adult. He was trying to work out how both things could be true.

I assured Bud that the person who told him that Blues Clues was for babies was wrong, and that it was perfectly okay for him to tell them so. I explained that it is possible to be too young to watch something, but it is not possible to be too old to watch something. I told him that he is the only person who gets to decide what he loves, and that people need to respect his passions without judging them. I told him that it's great to find new things that he loves, but that never means that he needs to stop loving the old things that he loves.

For the love of God, people, stop shaming our kids for having "juvenile" interests. Respect who they are. The end. I have never once felt judged for incessantly posting my love missives to Mister Rogers on Facebook. No one has ever suggested that I should have moved on from the show I fell in love with when I was three. Why should people's reaction to Bud be any different?

Bud loves Blues Clues. It's a show about friendship, and kindness, and family, and problem solving, and creativity, and curiosity. Which of those things should Bud have outgrown?

If you're still not convinced, please read (or re-read) Lydia Wayman's essay "Growing Sideways."

Then sit down in your thinking chair and think.




sgoewey said...

Luke loves Wiggles. Many good lessons set to nice music. I hate it when people tell him "it's for babies."

Some things that are for babies are also for adults.

Marge Blanc said...

Personally, I don't really trust anything I started to love after the age of 5. It seems to me that 5 is the age when I started to listen more to people outside myself, and forget to listen to me. Before 5, I loved pink and grey, early morning, walks with my father, stick-figure stories drawn impromptu on a chalkboard, songs with morals ('Apples red'), hopscotch, and my little sister. After 5, I learned that these things were for 'little kids,' and that friends-over-morals mattered more, things like 'innocent' shop-lifting (just for the fun of it), creating 'best friends lists,' leaving my little sister behind because she was, well, too little. Thank goodness we all have our 'inner child' to thank for the purity we can find, and find again, when we are fully immersed with children. Thank you, Mary; and thank you, Bud!!

farmwifetwo said...

We were out of power from Saturday afternoon until noon today . I heard often "someone pressed the dark button". Personally , the upside down show is silly. I do miss Blue's Clues and mine wants to go to College like Steve.

Tamara Kaldor said...

If you tweet Dr Alice Wilder who helped write and create Blue’s Clues and is one f the best people on the planet she would be delighted to testify that Blue’s Clues is not for babies. In fact, there was a lot of research that went into making sure it pulled in all ages so you g children would interact with an adult while watching it.

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Pennie said...

I just found your blog searching for positive IEP experiences and came across your open letter. My 16 year old son was recently diagnosed with level 1 autism and i was so relieved to have a diagnosis (we had been trying for years). He still loves his teddy bear. Through this process I have learned that there are so many insensitive, uneducated, clueless people out there AND also so many who care and are kind and helpful. I choose to focus on those. I chuckled when I saw your post about Facebook. I stopped looking at FB about 8 months ago. I never felt good after looking at. I'm glad you are still blogging. I look forward to reading your past (and future) posts to learn more about your and Bud's journey.

Unknown said...


I’m a journalist in New York (I’ve written for the New York Times, Elle, WSJ and other publications). I’m writing a piece about being the parent of a child with special needs, and I’d like to interview you for it, and to get tips for other parents.

Please let me know if this is something that might be possible, and please let me know if you have any questions.

My email address should be visible to you, but if it's not, please let me know as a reply to this commment.

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Anonymous said...

I just recently came across your blog. I love it! You seem to have such an amazing understanding for Bud and the full and wonderful person he is! I work in special education and hear too many times, "that's not age appropriate"... but my goal is to reach and create a relationship with the kids. Age appropriate or not, sometimes that's the only way into their world!

I love this TEDtalk:

I look forward to keeping up with you and Bud!


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Jen said...

Thank-you for respecting your son as he is now an adult. What do you think about talking to him about your concerns?

I've loved your blog since I first read the "toaster brain" analogy and have shared it many times over the years.

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