I’m probably grossly taking this guy’s comment the wrong way, but either way, I’m tired, so it got me going. On a message board I frequent, this guy talked about stuff that annoys him at the movie theatre. Light hearted enough, as his posts usually are. Among his complaints, however, was a remark about how parents let their kids run wild in public and don’t discipline them for it or, get this, how they mistakenly believe this “psychobabble” that children have as many rights as anyone else. That was all I needed to hear. Enjoy my response (mildly edited).
Excuse me? Children having as much rights as anyone else is “psychobabble”? Because someone hasn’t lived the same number of years as other people, that makes them inferior and less entitled to basic human respect? I’m sure that’s not quite what you meant, but it just set me off when I saw that. I’m not saying these movie parents were right or anything. Don’t misunderstand me. However, blanket negativity towards children just disgusts me. Just about every horrible thing that happens to kids is because of this idea, whether subconscious or otherwise, that they are somehow not quite as human as the rest of us, that their mere presence is always a nuisance, that they are not people but rather the property of their parents. THIS is the kind of mentality that leads to children being abused, neglected, and having just about any other inhuman evil in the world cast upon them. Because such horrific people who do crap like that to kids for the most part think “Oh, they’re just kids, I can do whatever I want to them.” There is no excuse for it. I’m not saying kids shouldn’t be disciplined, but discipline respectfully! But even aside from that, what good is a sour attitude about youth? We consciously know that children really should be a source of joy, and they are in many ways, yet at the same time, we’ve also got these beliefs floating around that they’re really just a burden who cost money and cause their parents constant emotional grief and don’t appreciate what good things people do for them and just about any other stereotype about them you can name. All this because people are so worried that, God forbid, they show someone young a little bit of basic human respect. People think it’s so horrible if a child disrespects his elder? Heh. Please. I think the opposite is quite despicable, and I wish so many more people would realize that.
Update (4-7-06): After returning to that message board and seeing the guy’s response to the above, it turns out that, yes, I did totally take his comment the wrong way. He’s actually totally cool about everything. 😆