Whether we choose to admit it or not, our children are a reflection of us. They not only look like us, but they talk like us. They react like us. They treat people the way we treat people - the way they SEE us treat people.
So parent friends, help me out here.
What are our children seeing from us at 3 and 4? How are we treating those around us? People in our "circles" and our family members? What are we saying to them/about them when little ears are listening?
In my eyes, my children are perfect with no physical flaws. I think Birdie's crazy curls are amazing and the gap in her teeth is just like the one her daddy had as a little boy (although my grandma blames prolonged use of a paci for it). These are two characteristics I love about her. But apparently these are two characteristics that other children her age have noticed and have commented on recently.
She came home one day last week obsessed with "baby teeth" and "big teeth." When are the baby teeth falling out? When are the big ones gonna come? So we had a conversation about how her baby teeth would go away...yada yada...I asked why she was so worried about her big teeth and she said a child in another class told her she looked funny and didn't even have all her baby teeth because her teeth were "open" in the middle. And I'll be honest, she was upset (i.e. I was upset).
On another occasion recently, I walked her into her class only to have a little group of girls look directly at us, turn around, and one literally said, "Don't talk to her. We're not playing with her today."
Seriously? C'mon kids, we're three. THREE! I don't remember girls talking about each other until junior high. How early is this starting? What are we teaching our children? That it's okay to single people out and point out their differences? That it's okay to shun people from our toddler cliques? I know we can't be with them 24/7 and slap our hands over their mouths every single time they start to say something like this, but we can set the example from the very beginning. We need to teach our babies that it's okay to be different. It's okay to look different. And most importantly, it's okay not to be a sheep in this life because the "popular" choices are not always the best choices. As adults, we need to pay more attention to the things we say and the way we treat people who aren't just like us. Because like it or not, it's rubbing off on our babies.
### End of Rant ###