For many parents, the word “no” seems to be on a list of things their children aren’t allowed to say. Saying no to a parent or other authority figure might be labeled backtalk, disrespect, or defiance. But saying no is a powerful tool and a necessary life skill, and we should help our kids get really good at it.
Like racism, sexism, or ablism, childism is a prejudice against a marginalized group – in this case, children. It shows up in many ways, but one of the most prominent is our tendency to separate children from the rest of society.
When I ask parents what qualities and characteristics they hope to encourage in their children, kindness, generosity, and empathy are always included. So it makes sense that we should teach our kids to share, right?
Nothing makes a parent feel guiltier than reading articles with accusatory titles such as Kids Feel Unimportant to Cell Phone Addicted Parents, 12 Ways to Ensure Your Kid is More Important Than Your Phone, or Get Your Face Out of Your Phone, You’re a Horrible Mother (OK, I made up that last one).
Exposure to toxic masculinity starts early, in subtle ways that might not seem important. It’s in our words, our expectations, and what we say to and around our children.
My oldest son asks a lot of questions. He’s four; that’s his job. Normally, this isn’t an issue. I enjoy his inquisitive nature and encourage his curiosity.