Something About Which I Feel Strongly
Kids are people. Yep, that's it. Read it again, though. Kids are people. So simple, but clearly a difficult concept to understand for the overwhelming majority in society. Let's talk about it.
The teacher I student taught under used to say daily that our high school students wouldn't become real people until they became adults. That's what she believed, that's what she said to someone who was supposed to learn from her, that's what she said to her own students. This attitude is not exclusive to her alone, rather it permeates our entire adult culture.
Spanking, circumcising, isolating (aka "time out"), crying-it-out, otherwise generally abusing are all ways we treat our kids as lesser than (whether purposely or not, out of ignorance or mindfully), because, in our minds, they are. They're not adults, so they don't deserve the respect we give our peers. We're bigger and more experienced than they are, so we can force our will on them, intimidate them into doing what we want, hurt them mentally and physically, and even mutilate their bodies. Hey, what are they going to do about it, right?
There was a viral post going around a while ago about a mom who found out her child was a bully, so "whooped" said child in effort to beat the bully out of the kid. This post was lauded by all types, even those who think themselves so terribly enlightened, because bullying is just that bad. Nobody seemed to realize, though, that the mom was bullying the kid in return. Oh, but that's OK, because she's the adult and the kid needed to be taught a lesson. The disconnect is astounding.
I can't change everyone, I can't change an entire culture of devaluing people based on age and lack of experience, but I can change things in my little corner of the world. I do that by respecting my own son as a person, his own person, so that he'll grow to treat his own kids (should he choose to have them) as such, they the same, and so on. I do that by setting an example for those in my sphere of influence. I do that by treating my son as I want to be treated (