Google+ Authentic Parenting: Raise a Child, Educate a Community (rerun)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Raise a Child, Educate a Community (rerun)

Last week, I wrote about how people comment on children’s behavior and education without being consulted, or without even as much as an introduction.

I often feel - when these situations occur - that in raising my daughter lovingly, respectfully and peacefully, I’m also urged to educate the community at large.

People simply aren’t loving, respectful and peaceful towards children, and certainly not when they are stranger’s kid’s (well at least rarely).
It goes from blatant remarks towards the child or the parent to sad attempts of ‘us against them’. The latter generally well meat, but nonetheless demeaning to the child.

As I have long decided not to just take it anymore and to stand up for my child, I feel compelled to respond to these remarks.

“Shouldn’t your child be wearing x or y?”
My child has decided she wanted to wear that skirt over those pants, after all, it’s her body, who is to decide what she puts on but she?
“No icecream before lunch.”
If my daughter wants to have icecream first and then lunch, that is her choice. SHe is more than welcome to do so.
“Bad girl”
My child is a person too, sir. Would you say the same to an adult who accidentally bumped into you? I think not!”
“She’s three? That’s a difficult age!”
There is no such thing as a difficult age, sir, it’s our incapability of treating them as human beings and respecting their emotions.
“That’s ugly! You should wear clothes.”
My daughter is beautiful just the way she is. Clothes do not add or diminish her ‘value’. There is no reason for her to be dressed when she is indoors amongst her family, unless she decides she wants to, or she’s cold.

Do you feel like you are educating the world while parenting?

Laura


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3 comments:

  1. I agree with you 100%, but I also find it hard to think and then SPEAK in the heat of the moment; most often I'm so taken off-guard, that I usually just usher my child(ren) away, then think of all these great things I *could have said* later. I do always use these opportunities to reinforce in my children that THEY are in control of their bodies & choices & that some people are unhappy in their lives, disrespectful of others, or just wrong.

    I think being raised to be a "people pleaser", to always be POLITE is a disservice to me... it keeps me from speaking up, even when my gut tells me I should.

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  2. I completely understand. I also struggle very hard to overcome my shyness and politeness in these situations, but over time I have learned to speak up (sometimes)

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  3. I haven't taken much flack for it yet, but it's getting colder, so letting my 2 year old son decide whether or not he wants to wear pants before going outside might start raising eyebrows.

    Thing is, he's going to notice he's cold, let me know, and ask to put pants on (or cover with a blanket), and nobody is worse for having waited until he came to that conclusion himself. Alternatively, we have a screaming fit with clothing being forced on to his body that he will remove as soon as he gets a chance. More power struggles. For what? He knows better than I what temperatures he can tolerate at this point.

    Many people fail to remember what it was like to be a child, and how deep the negative associations we gain at a young age can go. There is certainly a lack of respect, and we all ought to step back and ask ourselves why it is we really want to make this little person do something. "For their own good" isn't good enough.

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