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To believe kids are equal to adults

(273 Posts)
DragonMummy1418 Tue 22-May-18 14:05:19

They deserve the same treatment.
Their feelings are just as important as adults.

My parents told me that our home was a dictatorship not a democracy growing up and made me feel that my thoughts and opinions were not important or valid.
If it's something they can have a say in safely then I let my dc help make choices.

I went food shopping with my mother (who I am LC with) and 3.5 yr old DS today and she was appalled that I was letting my DS have a say in what we bought.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not letting him fill the trolly with ice cream and sweets but when it comes to a choice of which meat or which vegetables etc then I'm happy to let him pick what he likes and I know he will eat.

My mother was horrified when I said that I value DS's feelings and thoughts on the same level as my DH or hers (probably more than hers, lol).

I genuinely prefer the company of my child to a lot of adults I know.

araiwa Tue 22-May-18 14:06:52

If your kid is equal why cant he fill the trolley with ice cream?

Because hes not equal

moita Tue 22-May-18 14:07:33

Yes I agree. You sound like a lovely mum. I'm sure a shopping trip is fun for your toddler if he feels he's having input.

DragonMummy1418 Tue 22-May-18 14:08:27

Araiwa - I'd like to fill the trolly full of ice-cream too 😂

Sirzy Tue 22-May-18 14:09:07

But there not equal. As the parent you are still the one with overall control and that is needed to help the child develop healthily.

Giving them choices and a say in things is right but that doesn’t make them an equal

Trinity66 Tue 22-May-18 14:10:09

Yes I agree. You sound like a lovely mum. I'm sure a shopping trip is fun for your toddler if he feels he's having input.

Agree with this

LeighaJ Tue 22-May-18 14:10:28

Do you make sure to pay the same amount for days out or at restaurants as adults at places that give children discounts, for your kids? Since they're completely equal to an adult... grin

Gottagetmoving Tue 22-May-18 14:10:40

@araiwa
OP believes her ds's thoughts and feelings deserve equal consideration. Not allowing him a trolley full of sweets and ice cream doesn't diminish that.

Ohyesiam Tue 22-May-18 14:11:12

You sound like you can do this parenting thing op. My mum was similar, but now mine are teen/ preteen she values it, and whistfully says she wished her feelings had mattered as a child. She seems to have forgotten the 70s when mine didn’t matter either!

Gottagetmoving Tue 22-May-18 14:14:08

Oh FFS, Its restaurants and commercial outlets that offer discounts to attract families. Do people doesn't delberately choose to misunderstand what OP was saying?

Children are humans and deserve equal rights..appropriate to their age. It's not difficult to understand.

R2G Tue 22-May-18 14:15:33

No I don't agree. I absolutely hate it when out with another family and mums decide we'll go here, then sat here, then do this and one mum will ask her child 'what do you think do you like those ideas'. Several times has then tried to change plans with child's ideas included. Grates on me.

PinkHeart5914 Tue 22-May-18 14:16:29

But children can’t make informed choices and children don’t know what is best for them so no they are not equal to adults.

Why can’t your child stick fingers in a plug socket?
Why do they have to clean teeth if they don’t want to?
Why can’t they have ice cream for breakfast if they want?
Becuase they are not equal they rely on adults to do the best for them as they can not yet do it for themselves.

Giving a child a choice between apples and grapes is fine I think most parents do but that doesn’t make them equal becuase you are still the one with all the power hence not letting your child fill the trolley with ice cream and sweets

Love51 Tue 22-May-18 14:17:42

Benign dictatorship, isn't it? Adults make big decisions (to go shopping - when, and where) and kids get smaller decisions delegated (you can choose which apples / meat / veg / biscuits, given that mum or dad has decreed that we are getting those things)
I know there is a school of thought that wouldn't let a child make those choices but I don't think it makes the child equal. Kids get to make choices when I say they can - other times I get to overrule them (eg we have to go shopping at x time otherwise we will miss swimming lessons / not have any food in)
They are equal in terms of how much their needs are prioritised, (probably a bit ahead!) but they don't get an equal say because they are children and tend to see things from their own fairly narrow viewpoint. Having said that, I do tend to explain to mine why they can't get their own way, and they do usually accept it pretty well (there are exceptions if course).

Lethaldrizzle Tue 22-May-18 14:18:41

I give my kids equal footing alot - not always, I mean they have to go to bed and do homework etc but I want them to grow up being able to make decisions for themselves and yes that includes choosing stuff at the supermarket

DragonMummy1418 Tue 22-May-18 14:20:31

Thank-you for the nice comments!

I know kids have to have boundaries and rules and they don't have the same level of intellect that adults do but their feelings are still just as important as ours.

TroubledLichen Tue 22-May-18 14:23:47

As you’ve said if your DS tried to fill the trolley with sweets you wouldn’t let him. You are still setting the peramiters and controlling the situation because he’s too young to make a fully informed decision. So no you’re not giving his opinions the same value as an adult’s. But your way of getting him involved with the food shop and to choose veggies sounds brilliant. Just keep doing what you’re doing! Except for maybe telling your mother that you hold your DS’s feelings at the same level as your DH’s. If she’s of the opinion that a family is a dictatorship then it’s like waving a red flag to a bull.

SleepingStandingUp Tue 22-May-18 14:24:11

It depends what you mean by equal.

Not financially or in large decision making etc but OP is talking about her childs opinions being equally important to her.

If she asked her mum and partner what they wanted for dinner and one said jelly and one said chicken, she's likely to do chicken because she's weighing up equal input.
If DS said chicken and DH said jelly the same would apply.
If DS said jelly and DH said chicken the same would apply.

DH wouldn't take precedence because he's an adult because both their input is equally valid with the caveat of safety, health etc.

I agree with you OP.

babybythesea Tue 22-May-18 14:25:05

Depends what you mean by equal.
Do their feelings matter? Hell yes. I've bent lots of my life around my kids.
Do I take their opinion into account? Sometimes. Depends what it is. Choosing shopping? Nope. They can ask if we can have something. I may say yes, if I've just been paid. I may say no. I am the one who has to pay for it all. I am the one who has to come home from a day at work and then cook. So I am the one who decides what the meals will be and therefore what we will buy.
Dog walk? Yes, they can help decide where to go but again, if we are short on time and they suggest something miles away, I will veto it.
Taking their views into account and listening to their feelings is not the same as them being equal to me.
Equal, to me, means their opinion on everything matters as much as mine. It doesn't. Their opinion on bedtime does not matter as much as mine. Their opinion on whether to put clothes on before going to school does not matter as much as mine.
They matter. Hugely. They are the things that matter most to me, and are at the heart of every decision I make. But they are not equal.

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Tue 22-May-18 14:25:36

OP, you sound like a good mum. My son has recently started in Montessori and I can see from him and other kids there, teachers treating children with respect and dignity, giving responsibilities and helping them make decisions, builds gorgeous people with not only a good sense of self esteem but a willingness to accept other people’s thoughts and feelings. I think you’re absolutely doing the right thing and every day it must make your DS feel loved and included.

noblegiraffe Tue 22-May-18 14:25:47

It’s all very nice when you’re in a small group at the supermarket being ultra considerate of each other but it is a total pain in the arse in a class of 30 at school when some of the kids think that they deserve input on each and every decision like I actually care about their opinions on whether little Johnny deserves a sanction.

IWannaSeeHowItEnds Tue 22-May-18 14:25:57

Children's feelings and needs are as important as adults. Their right to have an opinion and be heard is also equal - as the parent you make the choices that best meet their needs, which might not be what they want exactly, but will be treating their needs as equal.
I don't understand why a parent wouldn't listen to their kids and try to accommodate food preferences, if choosing between equally good options (ie chicken or beef for dinner).

FrustratedTeddyLamp Tue 22-May-18 14:27:29

I somewhat agree with araiwa theres a difference between giving choices and overall equality. Giving DC limits to choices based on what you've already predetermined as acceptable isnt equality its freedom of choice, and it's something I believe most parents give to varying ranges.

True equality would be potentially the entire shop to choose from with no limits for example. If you were with a friend and they always insisted on you choosing going to place A or B but always declined place C that you really wanted to go to, you wouldn't feel you had equal input

Lethaldrizzle Tue 22-May-18 14:29:27

Well surely noble that's where you set different ground rules hmm my kids dont run around naked at school but they do at home

wendiwoowho Tue 22-May-18 14:29:32

I think this is extremely important to help build children confidence and independence.
If it something which includes the child why shouldn't they have their say.
Children's feelings matter too.

jimijack Tue 22-May-18 14:29:56

Similar argument here a while ago with a parent at a swimming lesson, limited seating to spectate, a toddler happily pottering around playing near the parent, but the parent refused to allow any one to sit in the empty chair beside them as it was for the toddler.
There was a huge divide in opinion as some said the kid was fully entitled to the chair, others said not.
Was an interesting read.

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