• Kristina Mulligan

Be A Buddy, Not A Bully

Today was disheartening. What started out as a plan to meet up with friends at the playground ended as a silent car ride full of wondering if we’d ever go back to a place like this again.


There is a local all-abilities playground that we’ve visited a few times - usually during the week when it’s quiet and we have specialist appointments in the surrounding area. It’s a treat to be there and have the whole place to ourselves, using the structures for practice. The beauty of an all-abilities playground is adaptive equipment that allows children with disabilities to play amongst their peers, and also inclusion into the community.

The idea of inclusivity is a beautiful thing - people of all types of abilities playing together, being accepting/accepted and kind. The reality, especially for a special needs parent, is that the world is scary as hell for our kids and even a place for “all-abilities” often caters, still, to the “physically able.”


Today, at age three, Flynn encountered his first bullies, was trampled while his muscles fatigued, and was pushed out of the way for taking too much time on an obstacle. Luckily, I was by his side, but other parents were nowhere to be found. He doesn’t want to go back there and I can’t say that I blame him. I don’t really want to either.


Remind your kids to be kind. Teach them to be compassionate and gentle. Show them, by example, what these words mean. Let them know that they can be whatever they want in life, except for a bully.

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