A mom is reveling after a post on Facebook about her teenage daughter’s back-to-school anxieties went viral.
“It was pretty neat. I was surprised people were paying attention. … I wasn’t surprised at how good people are,” said Stephanie Cook. “Some people said they read it to their kids the night before school started.”
Mother Of Teen With Cerebral Palsy Overwhelmed After Viral Back-To-School Post
Her 15-year-old daughter, Lucy, was feeling nervous all summer about her first day of high school. Lucy has cerebral palsy and was concerned about what others would think about her disability.
“Please consider taking the time to teach your kids about other kids like Lucy,” the post read in part. “Teach them that Lucy has challenges every day that seem almost insurmountable, but the one thing she wants the most is to be loved and valued and accepted — just like everyone else.”
Lucy, who was born at 23 weeks and four days, also suffered a brain hemorrhage when she was a baby. Her mother called her a “walking, talking miracle.”
After Lucy spent six years at a private school and was set to transition to Higley High School. Her mother detailed in the post that while Lucy has some special circumstances, her daughter’s concerns were not unique.
“Teach [your children] that they have the incredible power to build people up or tear them down, and they make choices with those effects every day. Be brave and reach out to those who look lonely,” the post continued.
Lucy has three words to describe her experience so far since starting school.
“I love it,” she told “Good Morning America.” She added that her favorite teachers and new friends are like “Disney princesses.”
Cook said she wasn’t surprised by everyone’s kindness at school, and wanted to make clear how the community has always been kind to Lucy and her family, however, she was glad to share a message about “intentional kindness” and being aware that words can do damage.
“We just need to try to make it a habit to look for people that maybe need our friendship or give people the benefit of the doubt because everybody struggles with something,” said Cook.
“When [kids] realize this, they do better and they’re there for each other.”
She added how having awareness around certain oppressive words, like the “R-word,” is an important message, ” especially amongst teenagers, who can be unaware sometimes.”
She said that all kids, her children included, need to remember two questions to help guide them through the ups and downs of the school year.
“I ask my kids … every day after school,” she said. “Were your friends nice to you today? And were you nice to your friends?”
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