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My Daughter Wants Acceptance - Please Teach Your Children Well

By Tiffany Tregenza - 18th October 2011

On the day we went to Sea World our girl Ivy was tired.

We all were.

As we walked into the park two girls pushed past us hurriedly

and into the bathroom, which is where we were headed to.

We took our place right behind them.

It would have been fine

except that those two little girls then turned around and made loud comments about Ivy’s "fat"  face

and her "fat" cheeks

and her "squishy eyes" (whatever those are anyway).

Then they proceeded to whisper and look back at Ivy in that hateful little girl way that makes me want to stab something.

Ivy became very distressed and asked me what was wrong with her face

and I felt the anger rising inside me like a volcano.

I wanted to shake those two little girls, who might have only been eight or nine.

I wanted to scream at them that  my girl was more beautiful than either of them,

that they had no idea what she deals with on a daily basis and they should count their lucky stars.

That she may grow and one day lose her little round face

but their behaviour would always be ugly

because of their shameful attitudes towards other human beings.

I didn’t.

Instead I cuddled the girl and told her she was lovely.

She didn’t believe me,

marred by the hand of her peers

but together we muddled through.

Those girls (and many more like them) were just plain mean

and I wanted to eat them up alive.

What stopped me was the example that I would have shown to my own children.

If I had have reacted without grace

I would not be teaching my children to be graceful.

 

The thing is, those girls were not born as spiteful, judgmental creatures.

They have been taught and molded into thinking that their behaviour is okay.

By who?

Their parents, I assumed,

and of course, I was all kinds of angry with their not-to-be-found care givers

but again, it wasn’t my place and it wasn’t right to seek them out to abuse them.

I don’t know that family’s story.

I don’t know of their struggles or their lifestyle.

I should never presume to know anyone else’s circumstances.

My girl, she was hurting though

and I was hurting too.

Hurting for her and for the little girl I once was, who endured that kind of behaviour too.

From a mother, who truly tries to teach her children that each person is special and has something unique and important to offer the world,

I implore you

please teach your children well.

So they can see that people come in all shapes and sizes

and that there is no place for judgement of another person’s appearance in this world,

(I mean are any one of us really perfect? Is there even such a thing?)

and to protect the people who cannot protect themselves.

For those who, through no fault of their own,

are viewed as a little different.

By teaching your children acceptance

you are giving others the one thing they crave most of all:

inclusion.

Think about if it were your child.

Wouldn’t you want that for them?

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