This past weekend, for the first time ever, I referred to my kid as a “brat.”
I immediately regretted.
I knew it was wrong. It was not my kid. Not even a little bit. It was me. It was me and my unrealistic expectations and my displeasure at said kid not being/doing exactly as I wanted when I wanted.
Not long after a friend posted an article (not in favor for) titled, “Your Kid is a Brat And it’s Your Fault” (no, I’m not linking it; but you can Google it if you wish).
I read it, against my better judgment, and all my momma bear instincts kicked in.
Childism is not okay
Not even a little bit.
And name-calling a child something hateful and demeaning like “brat” is nothing more than childism.
Dictionary.com defines a brat as “a child, especially an annoying, spoiled, or impolite child (usually used in contempt or irritation).” So really, that’s simply any child that you find annoying or don’t particularly like. Which lets be honest, that right there means the problem is of that who is doing the name calling. Because it’s simply their perception, which means there is always someone who is going to disagree.
And childism is “A prejudice and/or discrimination against the young.” You see where I am going with this, right?
If an adult has a bad day, we let it slide; everyone has a bad day now and then. We shrug and move on, likely giving that person a little space.
If it’s a child, immediately they are rude and inconsiderate. “Misbehaving.” A brat.
If an adult is loud, boisterous, and overzealous, we call them confident and fun.
If it’s a child with those traits, then they’re obnoxious and bratty.
If an adult stands up for himself, we applaud him for not being a doormat.
If a child does the same, we scold them for not listening.
If an adult is tired or hungry, and thus not terribly pleasant (ask my husband, he’ll tell you hangry is real, and the only time his wife is less than charming), then we are understanding because we’ve all been there. We get it.
But if it’s a child? Well, they’re bratty, entitled kids whose parents make excuses for their poor behavior
Need I go on?
We live in a society where it’s okay for adults to have crummy moments, days, weeks, even months, and we are understanding and compassionate.
But if a child, someone a fraction of our size with less impulse and emotional control, has those same less-than moments or days; the kid is automatically a brat, most likely caused by indulgent parents.
And you know what?
Maybe I am indulgent.
I admit it.
I bought Miss H a new chapter book at Barnes and Noble today and she did nothing to “earn” it. Other than be a normal human being who occasionally deserves small kind gestures in life for simply no reason other than she’s human.
I can buy a $6 decaf coconut milk latte on occasion and no one questions such an extravagant purchase. I buy my kid a $6 book and unless she “earned” it somehow, then she’s a spoiled, entitled, brat.
That, my friends, is childism.
A completely irrational and unrealistic double standard.
We hold children to a higher level than we hold adults.
And it really needs to stop.
My kids aren’t perfect. Far from it.
They run in stores, spill drinks in restaurants, forget their manners on occasion, can be loud and rambunctious, and are oh-so very vocal. They whine sometimes and have fits when things don’t go the way they’d hoped.
They’re a lot of things: vivacious, tenacious, confident, independent, courageous, and curious.
But they are not brats.