[Repost] Rejection of Childhood

There are countless movies and works of literature that depict the folly of adults and their inability to take the word and worldview of children seriously. Even though all of us were children once, somehow, the word childish became something that is derogatory even to the children that it’s supposed to describe. Why do we expect children to be anymore “adult” than their age? We are surprised when children show a depth of emotion, intuition and empathy. Why?

This is an excerpt from an article by one Dr. Gray from psychologytoday.org:

Calling Trump Childish Shows How We Disrespect Children

Although some psychologists in the past have described children as “egocentric,” they did not mean that term in the sense that applies to Trump. They meant that very young children, before the age of about 4, have difficulty seeing things from another person’s vantage point, not that they are selfish or always demanding attention and praise. In fact, recent research has put into doubt the idea that “egocentric” applies generally, even by that original meaning of limited perspective, even for very young children.

But this post is not really about Trump. It’s about our quickness to use the word “childish,” or synonyms for it, in derogatory ways, as if all children have whatever the negative characteristic is that we are referring to. Our prejudiced view of children is what regularly allows us to treat children so atrociously. If we believe children are incompetent, then that justifies our condescension toward them, our failure to really listen to them or take them seriously, our failure to give them the respect that we give to adults, and, most astonishingly, our shutting them into institutions (schools) against their wills and treating them there like prisoners.

Link to article here.

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