I have drilled in to my children from the time they were old enough to understand, all the way to present, that all people should be treated equal. This goes for race, religion, birth defects, learning disabilities, handicaps, mentally challenged, etc. I have patiently answered questions, I have patiently explained. I have patiently given examples that would apply to my children as to why they should never stare, or treat people different. As with all kids, I never really knew whether or not any of this really sunk in, or if I was talking to a brick wall. I do know my children do not judge people based on race or religion, but we had not been out in a situation that someone would look different until the other day.
I had to take The Princess to the doctor. While we were there, a very young cancer patient came in. If I had to guess, I would say in the 7 or 8 year old range. The child had obviously been through chemo, as the child had no hair. I realized during the long wait we had in the waiting room, that all my lectures about treating people equal had really sunk in with my children. Not only did The Princess NOT stare at this child who looked very different, but when the child walked in, The Princess gave her a beaming smile, said hi, and went back to reading. The only other time she looked at this child was when the child started to giggle about something, The Princess looked up to see what was funny, smiled at her again, and went back to reading.
As we were leaving the doctor's office, another cancer patient was coming in, this one a little older. Again, The Princess smiled her beaming smile, said hi, and continued on. This child was very confused. I assume it is because he is not used to people smiling and saying hi? I don't know. But I was very proud of The Princess for handling this as she did. She waited until we were safely in the car and driving away to even ask why those two children did not have hair. We talked about cancer, chemo, etc. She's a sensitive little soul, so she was very sad for these kids. I did explain that it is likely the treatments they are going through are helping.
I feel it is our job as parents to teach our children to treat everyone equally. There are too many disrespectful children, and I blame it on the parents. I have seen too many times children who have no problem telling someone they are fat, or ugly, or stupid. I have also seen too many times children who make fun of people with learning disabilities, mental or physical handicaps, or their race. We all know this is wrong on so many levels, yet there are so many parents out there who do not teach their children this is not acceptable, and do nothing to correct it. These parents are also some of the people who are outraged at the disrespect of today's youth.
Hell-fucking-OOOOOOOOOO. Do your job as a parent, and help turn that around. Children learn through example, and children learn what you as a parent teach them. If you are not teaching them manners, respect, and how to treat others you have no right to bitch. You, as the parent, need to do something to change this. You, as the parent, need to teach your children. You, as the parent, need to do your job and be the parent. You are not your children's friend. You are not your children's buddy. You are the parent, start acting like it.