Posted in Bullying, Learning Differences, Reflections, senryû, Stigma Talks

Embrace your differences

cropped-me.jpgI am sharing a mother’s plea for parents to talk to their children about embracing their differences as well the uniqueness of others.

The video was made after her nine year old son came home upset that he was the subject of racial jokes.  Listening to her plea made me think how we, as adults, need to be better models not just in how we interact with different cultures, races and religions but also in the face of any differences. I love how Dianne does not talk about “tolerating” but embracing our differences.

A child growing with a learning difference , a teen experiencing a mental health condition, a youth struggling with his or her sexual orientation or sexual identity or a youth growing up with physical or intellectual challenges should embrace their differences and other youths should as well.

Children are not born prejudice…it is learned…modelled.  I’m not saying all children learn this from their parents.  We all know how our children learn and change when they go to school.  If they have learned a biased way of looking at the world through jokes or racial slurs they heard on the playground, then we, as adults, educators and parents have a responsibility to talk to them about this on so many levels.

Perhaps we, as adults, need to take a moment or two and take inventory on our own beliefs and feelings before speaking to our children.  Children are sensitive and savvy and can see through what is real. So take your time to reflect on your thoughts first.

We are not perfect but let’s try to be the best human we can in this imperfect world.

Who am I but me?
in all my imperfections,
I am perfect!


(c) Cheryl-Lynn ’17/02/06

Posted in Did you know?, Learning Differences, Re-blogs, video

Introduction to Cri du Chat Syndrome

A mother’s love, a daughter’s strength in the face of challenges, and lots more I’ve learned here.  After you read this reblog, here is the  School Presentation our writer talks about which I would subtitle, “After you say Hello, what do YOU really think of me?”

Lessons from my daughter

A month ago, I shared the Cri du chat awareness video with Emily’s resource teacher.

Emily appears in this video 4 times which, to her, is the equivalent of being a movie star!


Since she was little, I have allowed Emily to make her own decisions.  I have allowed her to fall, to get hurt sometimes, to taste vinegar and lemon juice…..  but most importantly, I have allowed her to learn how to make a decision!

Within a couple of days of us having the awareness video, she told me she wanted to present it to her class….


I didn’t see that one coming.

Emily knows she has a rare syndrome, she knows she is different and she knows that different is awesome because normal is boring!!!  🙂

Sometimes, she is sad about being different… she wants friends and a boyfriend but quickly she’s back being her happy…

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Posted in Did you know?, Learning Differences, Mental Health, Reflections, who am I?

Why do I blog?

Why do I blog?

Interesting question, I am so glad you asked! I started to blog here, at StigmaHurtsEveryone after reading HerdingCats  She writes about the day-to-day life of her family of 2 boys and 2 girls. She was first in Ireland when I started following he and she has since returned to America; check her out, she is an amazing writer and I love her choice of music too she shares on Music Mondays.

That blog allowed me to write about persons with special needs, mental health and how we need to get better acquainted with various conditions that affect more people than we are willing to admit. ONE in FIVE persons will be faced with at least ONE mental illness but out of that many people, not many will ask for help due to the stigma and misunderstanding on mental health.  That is A LOT of people, don’t you think? And then the blog evolved to allow ME to stand on my soapbox and talk about bullying, violence, child abuse, racism, homophobia and any other “isms” you can think of.

During that time I had started writing more, privately and noticed that I was enjoying poetry and dabbled in flash fiction too. And so I started Cher Shares  which has enabled me to develop my writing skills and I have grown to love writing Japanese forms, Haiku, Senryû and Tanka…and so I chose a nom de plume, Tournesol, for these short form poems and  changed Cher Shares title to Tournesol dans un Jardin; I had started a blog at blogspot Tournesol dans un Jardin to facilitate those readers and poets who are on blogspot but it is getting time consuming.  Although I find blogspot more user friendly, WordPress is community based and I like my community:)

So… which direction did I finally take?

© C.L.R. 2014

I may pause Tournesol dans un Jardin and continue at Cher Shares but change it to Tournesol dans un Jardin so I can stay in the WordPress community

Should I get my head examined?  I did and that`s why I have simplified things.

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, 2014/10/14

Posted in Learning Differences, Stigma Talks

Sugar Sammy used the “R” word

I drop a coin in this well, wishing for less stigma and more compassion and awareness.
I drop a coin in this well, wishing for less stigma and more compassion and awareness.

Last night, Sugar Sammy
made me laugh
he was so darn funny
and good at his craft.

Then I saw him perform
John Abbott College;
awe for him is now malformed
soon as his act unhinged
no longer made me laugh
made me sad, disappointed
he used the “R” word in a school?
what does this teach anyway?
treating someone as a fool
when we all know that term
stigmatizes, labels as a rule.
When will they only learn?

For lack of a better word, he used the “R” word in his performance at John Abbott College in 2010. I was tired and laughed easily even at politically incorrect jokes last night.  I was that tired. But viewing a performance this afternoon on Youtube mood changed from free spirited, happy, to serious and disapointed.  It’s like watching your favourite celebrity who makes you swoon or go gaga, he says one remark that can turn your loyalty to disdains SNAP just like that…at the SNAP of a finger…just like that. I chose to not add the video in this…the point was not to bring down one performance and go all ape-pooh on him.  Just a stand I felt needed addressed….done. He disappointed me…

© Cheryl-Lynn at Stigma Hurts Everyone, 2014.01.13