Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Mom told him they could buy a pack and started naming all of the colors for him as she pointed them out. I thought to myself that it was so nice to see a young mother teaching her child colors in a fun way. She was actually interacting positively with her kid in Walmart instead of yelling at him or smacking him to be quiet, which is pretty typical behavior around here.
So, Mom points out, "There are yellow bunnies, and purple bunnies, and blue bunnies, and pink bunnies, and..." At this point, the kid announces, "I want the pink ones!" Apparently this doesn't sit well with Mom because she repeats, "There are blue bunnies. Do you like the blue ones?" The little boy again says, "I want the pink bunnies." Mom, however, isn't having it. "Oh! Look at the blue ones! Do you want the blue bunnies?" Finally, the kid gives in and says, "I want the blue bunnies," which Mom gives to him.
Funny, but I thought I heard the kid ask for pink bunnies pretty clearly. What kind of message does this give to a young child about his preferences? We're not talking about clothing or hairstyle or lifestyle here but Easter candy. We as parents, family, teachers, and society as a whole can start giving kids messages that their preferences are somehow wrong beginning when they are very young, oftentimes without even realizing we're doing it. Instead of valuing individuals, we chip away at their self-esteem by trying to change them to fit our own expectations. I really do hope that some day that little boy gets exactly what he wants, even if it's pink bunnies.