Children are amazingly honest and perfectly curious about everything in life.
The reason they ask ten million questions a day is because they have this intense desire to learn and gain insight into everything going around them in the world.
Around the age of four or five children develop the ability to become embarrassed. And we, as parents, do a really good job of taking advantage of that. Whether we mean to or not, we are sure to let them know that they should never do something to “embarrass themselves” or “embarrass their parents.”
That sucks doesn’t it? That we start conditioning our kids so early on to give a shit about what others think of them? To imply that acting in a way other than the way they feel good about, is abnormal or not okay or the big E word?
So it brings me to this…all of us have been conditioned in our lives to feel embarrassment. And one of the biggest things that our children do, before we brainwash them into feeling embarrassed themselves (and yes I do this too, I’m saying “we”), is to stare, point or ask questions about other people that don’t fit in the tiny box of what we call NORMAL (blagh I hate that word!!!).
As soon as a child sees someone in a wheelchair, they want to know why! WHY IS THAT BAD!!??
As soon as a child sees someone with any handicap they want to know why they are different! WHY IS THAT BAD!?!?
As soon as a child sees someone with skin different than theirs, or a homeless person, or a woman in a Hijab they want to know why! WHY THE FUCK IS THAT BAD!?!?
All of these people are people in our world. They are people that make our lives richer, our lives diverse and bring awareness to the differences in the society we live in!
So when a child asks questions, answer them in an honest way! Don’t say, “it’s not nice to stare!” Say “that man is in a wheelchair because his legs don’t work” or “that little girl is wearing a helmet because she liked to sleep on one side so much it flattened out her head a little bit so doctors are helping make her head round!” (BTW those are super common– those soft and squishy little heads paired with the all-elusive super-sleepers like this sweet chunk in the pic make for some excellently flat heads)!
And adults, you ask questions too! And if you’re too shy to ask, then don’t fucking stare. It’s rude.
All of this is brought to you courtesy of the cutest little chick in the world rocking her helmet like a badass! You go Pea!!!!!