respecting children in an ageist society
Ageism is often quite noticeable when it comes to the elderly, but what about the youngest of us? Like most, I never considered the rights of children and the way they are treated by adults until being put in charge of raising a little human, myself. Most adults are of the opinion that children should be seen and not heard, and that is glaringly obvious right now in our family, where is the only child and where everyone just wants her to sit still and be quiet, two things she is not developmentally capable of doing.
I hear friends of the family and family members make remarks about her being “such a handful” and “so much racket”. I am told to take her out of the house because my grandma “can’t handle it”. I am told I should just keep her at home until she’s older. And I think this is all rubbish. I know what bad behavior looks like and she’s not even being like that. She’s just trying to help, trying to be involved, and trying to be a part of the family (which she is, despite her fewer years). I would appreciate it a whole lot if everyone could start acting as if she’s a human being deserving of kindness, patience, and respect, other than just an inconvenience or an annoyance.
After all, how on earth am I to produce a child who is kind, respectful, and patient if those qualities are not modeled towards her? How is she to show compassion to others when none is showed to her? In this time of great stress, grief, and loss should we not be especially kind to those who have yet to develop coping skills?