Saturday, September 2, 2017

Children are people not objects

Children are a difficult subject to adults.   They come into the world and few can resist their sweet expressions and adorable stretches.   With nine children in the family, I realize how quickly the wonder of a new baby passes.   I do remember the joy on children's faces, the smiles of older people at church, and even strangers  at little infant people who mostly sleep and then they cry and other things.   Some babies need to be walked endlessly but they are little people and we want them to be comforted, so the ideal is to comfort them.   

Like puppies they get bigger with lightning speed and start insisting on some things which the adult in the world has to keep pushing forward in care for them.   I have heard from so many how exhausted they are with their kids and they're speaking the truth.   Having children definitely takes the focus off oneself or at least it should.   Parenting is exhausting for sure as it pushes us beyond ourselves.   

Children do need help.   No matter what a child's age is, even the infant actually needs a relationship with their parent and caregivers.   This seems really obvious but frankly I see so many examples of where children are treated as objects and not people.   All people, not just adults are in a relationship with those around them.  Adults all can fall into the trap of merely ordering children around and relationship ends up being built on the children's jumping to do our bid and call.   The attitude of children as servants should nauseate and not be the first approach.

Perhaps the art of relating to children as people like ourselves is because we are torn between the care they need and how much we don't want to give of ourselves to others.   Yelling at and mocking children is out there.    If I were the incredible hulk, I would transform regularly at disregard for a child's ability to understand and the shame and rejection  they feel at the way they are spoken to and about.

Talking about children out loud in their presence, as if they aren't in the same room, whether the topic seems innocent and fine as we are 'concerned' about their struggles, the effect is the same since the children can and do hear what adults say.  Imagine that.   Speaking ill of them to friends and relatives is actually not a good plan at all as it reinforces in others a negative opinion of the child and degrades their ability to do better.  Adults who hear these things and parents who hold so tightly to talking about their objects of possession, also known as their offspring, in front of others, on the phone, on facebook and other places should know that their words do have an effect on their children even if the words seem innocent or 'helpful'.  

One way I like to look at the concept of children as people, is that I look in their eyes and can see their feelings in emotions right there.   I imagine how I would feel if spoken to in the manner they have been spoken to.   Is it okay to speak to an adult that way or would the abusive tone be considered rude and abusive?   Seriously.   

Three adults are standing within close proximity of each other and two of the adults begin having interchanges about the third adult right in front of him as if he weren't there.    The third adult would feel all sort of things which might include feeling invisible, less than human, embarrassed, awkwardness.   If the same three adults were colleagues, speaking about one person in front of them to another would certainly be considered inappropriate.  The concept is exactly the same with adults in children in a room as all three are people.  The associative property comes to mind.   

Talking about children in front of them or in back of them, should give us pause to think if we are helping them by gossiping about them with other adults.  It is still gossip especially if the talk is speaking negatively about the child.   The talk does hurt the child's reputation in the eyes of others, for good or for ill.   We all have done this from time to time or perhaps some have succeeded in never doing it, but it just seems good to bear in mind the harm caused to the child when spoken about in front of others in their presence or not.  I plan to pose examples and alternative solutions and examples from interactions with the younger variety of people I encounter in my daily roaming.   If the reader does make a habit of doing this, I am basically hoping that folk can reconsider their actions for the good of the younger humans in their lives.   

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