Dear Lucky G,
My name is Oliver. I am a Dumbo octopus. I have a big problem. A stingray named Sammy is being mean to me. He makes fun of me a lot. I am actually named Dumbo after the cartoon elephant with the really big ears. My fins do look like big ears, but his teasing really hurts my feelings.
What should I do to get him to stop?
Thank you for writing to me. I am sorry about your situation. I have several tools in my bag to help you.
- Use a strong voice. “Stop! Your words are hurtful!” or “Thanks for sharing that with me.” If Sammy sees you mean business, he will likely knock it off. Be confident.
- Use cool facts. “Yes, I do have big fins. That’s because I can swim deeper below the ocean surface than any other octopus!” (I did my homework. Wow, Oliver!)
- Swim away. If the teasing is hurtful and doesn’t stop, leave.
Oliver, I see you are often called the cutest octopus in the world! You have a lot to offer. Sometimes, creatures may be jealous of you. Other times, they just don’t know how to share their feelings. It is important to tell someone what is happening like you did with me today. You can also share with your parent, a teacher, or any trusted grown up.
I have been teased before because most ravens don’t wear tennis shoes and baseball caps. We are unique. That’s what makes us special. Keep on swimming, Oliver!