Laurence Clark and familyImage copyrightLAURENCE CLARK
Image captionLaurence Clark with his family

A video has gone viral of schoolchildren slowing down to let a disabled classmate win a race. Laurence Clark, a comedian with cerebral palsy, is not sure he wouldn’t rather lose.

You may well have seen this clip – a sports day race begins, but everyone runs slowly to let their 10-year-old classmate with cerebral palsy win. He had been terrified of entering the event, because he’d come last every other year. As a father with cerebral palsy, I’m in two minds as to what to make of it.

I’m very familiar with the concept of letting your child think they’ve won even if they haven’t. For example, last week I took my two sons Jamie, five and Tom, 11, to play mini-golf. After each and every hole, Jamie would look up at me expectantly and ask whether he’d won that round. And each and every time, regardless of whether he’d done well or not, I would tell him that he had, causing him to hiss “Yessss!” and punch the air in victory.

I do this partly to teach Tom to show generosity towards his younger brother, but more importantly, I don’t want to be the father that all the other parents stare at with mild disapproval because his screaming five-year-old is having a total meltdown in the middle of a mini-golf course.

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