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Rethinking How Language Reinforces Social Norms On Children

by Amelia (follow)
Amelia is an art enthusiast and writer
Life (611)      Relationships (158)      Family (110)      Children (14)      Language (11)     

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Photo by Satish Krishnamurthy via Flickr CC.

The image of perfect parenting is glorified to the point where it becomes socially worshiped. But it cannot be achieved.

This social worship is reinforced through the language we often quite naturally use when inquiring about family specifics.

"How many children do you have?"

The asking of this question can imply that quantity is valued higher than quality of the family situation, and is classed as being dynamic. Whether you have a single child, or a family to rival the Brady Bunch; the aim should be to provide a loving and nurturing environment.

family, sticker, car, label, love
The Brady Bunch

"When did they say their first words?"

This question might be asked out of pure curiosity, however whatever discussion ensues is important in determining the underlying desires which led the person to ask this.

They may desire to compare children by their readiness to speak legible words in a language the parents have exposed the child to. This is of no use in the general scheme of things. A child's acquisition of language is an uncontrollable element. It is important to nurture the growth of this skill at every stage.

family, sticker, car, label, love
Photo by David Amsler via Flickr CC

"Have they had their vaccination shots?"

This question demands conformity towards a particular health regulation standard. Depending who asks this, it could also suggest anxiety for the at risk child; not to mention for themselves and their children if they have any. While I am pro-vaccinations, I can understand and recognise that both sides of the fence exist.

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Immunisation poster

To conclude, it is always important to analyse and listen to what you yourself may say, because this is in your power to change.

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