Children are Human

Well, that sounds rather obvious, doesn’t it? I mean, what else would they be?! However, when it comes to how society as a whole treats them, the reality seems rather different.

A baby smiles. Sweet, right? Oh, but it’s just gas, they say. They aren’t capable of smiling.

A baby is having blood drawn and is crying. Oh, but the nurse says it doesn’t hurt him. Sure, he may look like he’s in pain, he may be acting like he’s in pain, but he isn’t really, so we don’t need to do anything to comfort him.

A toddler is melting down in a public place. Instead of thinking he needs comfort, someone decides to get in his face and mock him, telling him to stop faking it.

A toddler fidgets during Sunday Mass, and forgets to whisper when pointing out the images in the stained glass windows. Someone says the child shouldn’t be anywhere near the front where people can see and hear her unless the child can be as perfect as a doll.

A child doesn’t wish to speak to a stranger (or a person they just don’t see on a regular basis). Instead of understanding her discomfort, she is shamed into it.

A parent has a set schedule of how things are going to go that morning. When the toddler doesn’t want to get his shoes on, the parent gets exasperated, even angry, instead of realizing that the child isn’t an automaton and has his own ideas about the schedule. No, he can’t just ignore his sensory issues with his shoes, and no, fighting about it won’t help anything.

As you might have noticed, these are all things my children and/or I have experienced. Our children, of course, have to do some things they would rather not do (such as putting on shoes to go on an errand), just as we adults must also do things we’d rather not do. We have to teach and help our children through this, of course. But let us not lose sight of the fact that they are fully human, with all the emotions and desires and needs of all humans. They may not be able to control their emotions as well, their needs may overwhelm them at times, but we must respect their humanity and gently teach them.


Book Nook

One thing that certainly hasn’t changed at my house is our love for books. In fact, that love of books prompted me to become an independent consultant with Usborne Books and More last year. I’d love to share these books with you, so please visit my site. You can buy books directly on there, or host a party and earn some free books for yourself!

0008689_a_tale_of_two_beasts_300One of the books we recently acquired is A Tale of Two Beasts by Fiona Roberton. It’s a delightful book that shows there are always two sides to a story. The first half of the book tells a story from the perspective of the little girl, who finds a strange beast and, filled with compassion, rescues the poor creature. The second half of the book tells the same story, only from the animal’s perspective as he speaks of being kidnapped by a beast. The story and illustrations are wonderful, and can provide a teachable moment in talking to kids about how to treat their pets. I highly recommend it.

Back in the Swing of Things

So after a long hiatus, I’m coming back to blogging. I’d told myself I just didn’t have time, and so didn’t write. But then I was asked to contribute to a Catholic blog, and now I find I’m wanting to write more. I’ll probably focus more on the day-to-day things here, and I can’t say how often I’ll write or anything. But hopefully I won’t let it go as long without new posts as I did before.