Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Kids are People: A Radical Idea

I am a big fan of the Toca Boca apps for the iPad and Android devices. They let children explore parts of life that they don't normally get to, and they are so open ended that kids can be creative and not be told what to do. I like Legos for the same reason. Toca Boca has started writing articles for adults, parents and teachers and any other adult who cares to read them. I really liked this article and wanted to share it with you. I try very hard to adhere to the ideas in this article both as a mom and as a teacher. Granted there are times when things need to be done the way an adult says so but there's no reason we can't give our children as much control over their lives and how they do things as possible. It's something I tell all the families I work with, give your child choices, let them have control when ever possible and you will find that there are less and less negative behaviors. One of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes is "A person is a person, no matter how small".

Now, I will admit that the more I've read about this idea of "Childism" the more I think, that like most things, some people have taken it a bit to far (for my comfort and taste).  And so here is where I step up onto my soap box for a little bit....

In theory I guess this is good but we do tell cars not to hit kids. We also tell kids to watch for cars. No one is perfect and everyone gets distracted. Seems to me it should be an equal responsibility. As an adult I still look for cars, because there is going to be that one time that I don't and neither did the driver look for pedestrians. This is not victim blaming in my mind. That would be more like saying that you must have done something to deserve getting hit by your parent, or that the girl who got raped was asking for it by wearing something skimpy. 
Here is another one that irks me. If we don't tell kids not to accept candy from strangers then we are irresponsible as parents. I trust my daughter to know right from wrong, to not accept rides and other things from people she doesn't know, and to tell me and my husband about things that are happening that are not right. I don't trust all the adults out there to leave my daughter alone. Let's face it, this needs to be done on BOTH sides or it won't matter at all.

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