There are memes on the internet that make fun of little kids. People post them forward saying how funny they are or adding snarky comments about their own kids. People post pictures of kids throwing tantrums, sometimes tantrums that the parents caused just for the photo op. When I commented on a thread, after someone posted a meme about kids who were "picky eaters," I was shocked by the harsh words that came at me when I tried to point out a more compassionate perspective. I'll write a post about the term "Picky Eater" another time, because it's not a phrase that's helpful. Today I want to respond to something that was said in the previously mentioned thread:
"I miss being able to just laugh at kids being weird...."
By the time this was said I have given up trying to add anything positive to the discussion, but here's what I wanted to say to the young woman who made this statement:
Do you miss being able to laugh at people who are gay because they are weird?
Do you miss being able to laugh at minorities because they are weird?:
Do you miss being able to laugh at women because they are weird?:
Do you miss being able to laugh at people with Downs Syndrome because they are weird?
Why? Why do you feel the need to laugh at anyone?
Does it make you feel powerful? Does it make you feel "better than" or superior?
More and more people are realizing the harm that Racism, Sexism and other isms cause. However, many people fail to realize that ageism is an issue that needs to be taken into consideration.
Kenneth Quinell wrote your Handy Guide to -Isms that I highly recommend reading.
Do you ever wonder about oppression as it relates to kids? This post, Are Children an Oppressed Class, asks great questions and doesn't claim to have all the right answers.
I find it sad that more people fail to view children with compassion. It's even worse that parents have no problem publicly humiliating their children, which I addressed in my post Shameful Parenting
Why is it that many people don't have a problem with oppressing others? Perhaps it's because most people grew up with it and learned to accept it before they were old enough to know what was going on.
"Adultism is the first oppression all people experience. Parents must take charge of their relationship with their children. Presenting the world as a dangerous place with murder and hurtful people along with a "That's the way it is" attitude they instill powerlessness in children. As new forms of oppressions are later introduced, we now accept them without fighting back. Born with an open, zestful and cooperative relationship to everyone we are hurt very early by this irrational behavior of adults. While we are in emotional distress, our vast human intelligence momentarily seems to shut down and the new information is stored wrongly or "jams up" in a tied-up knot, and we are blocked." Read more Here (I'd use the word "ageism" instead of "adultism," but that doesn't change the value of what is being said.)
By being kind and compassionate in our interactions with children, being respectful to children, this is how they learn to be kind, compassionate and respectful. And that means being aware of what we say about our kids on facebook,too, as I pointed out in this post, What Your Words Say About You.