Tori Roloff shares how she talks to her 5-year-old son with dwarfism about being different
The “Little People, Big World" mama says, "I WANT him to know he’s different.”
It isn’t easy having to explain to a child who is different that they aren’t quite like other children. Most parents would probably prefer to downplay the situation, saying "It's no big deal. You aren’t quite the same as the other children, but everyone is different.”
However, Tori Roloff, 31, star of the TLC’s long-running “Little People, Big World,” has decided to go the other route. She’s asking her 5-year-old son, Jackson, to lean into his uniqueness and use it to help others.
Tori is married to Zach Roloff, 32, who’s been a star of “Little People, Big World” for 24 seasons. Zach and Tori have three children: Josiah and Lilah, 3, and Jackson, 5. All three of them have achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism.
In an Instagram post, Tori shared how she is helping her son embrace his uniqueness.
“I feel like Jackson (and others) are starting to notice that something is different about him,” she wrote. "At Jackson’s first soccer game, the other team was asking why he was so small. Purely out of curiosity I believe—not bullying or being malicious—just curious."
Jackson told his mother about the questions during the game, and she was quick on her feet with a thoughtful answer.
"It stuck with him enough to tell me on the side line though. I told him 'that’s how God made you, now show them how fast you are!' He then proceeded to score a goal, and I can’t tell you how stoked we were," she wrote.
Tori hopes that Jackson will embrace his size and use it to help others just like his family has done by increasing awareness about the challenges that people with dwarfism face through their TV show. The show also showed how all people, no matter their size, are much more alike than they are different.
"He’s starting to notice that he’s different and that’s hard to cope with—however, I WANT him to know he’s different. But maybe not in the way he thinks he is," she wrote.
She then described her innermost hopes for her son.
"Jackson I pray that you notice that you are different,” she wrote. “That God has set you apart from all other people. I pray you’re different in how you see and love others. I pray that you’re different in the choices you make to keep God close to your heart. I pray you’re different in how you solve problems and arguments. I pray that you think differently about how the world works and adaptations that can be made. I pray you see your differences and use them to change the world. You are different, kid. Different than any kid I’ve ever met. You are one of a kind and I am so stinking proud to be your mom.”
There is no one right way to talk to our children about the challenges they face in life. But It’s valuable for people like Tori, who has a very unique parenting situation, to share how she handles difficult topics, because it gives us more tools to use in the oh-so-tough but oh-so-rewarding job of parenting.