Said a kid in a shoe store the other day, pointing a finger at me.
A child proud of finally finding something interesting in the shoe store while both of his parents were looking for shoes.
We call him Noah in this story.
I stood with my back to the shelf.
I turned while he was still pointing his finger at me. I smiled at him and saw Noah realize his mistake. Noah remained curious. I liked that.
His parents both looked at us and all they said was, “Come on, let’s go”.
Apart from the fact that I wasn’t allowed to get to know Noah any further, this situation makes me sad.
I have experienced this situation so often – as can be seen in such questions:
“Why is your hair different?”
“Why are you browner than me?”
If they allow it, a great atmosphere for discussion develops.
I really think it’s such a pity that we don’t allow such errors and discussions.
What messages am I sending my children when I say, “Let’s go” when I make comments like this.
Sure, the parents might be unsure.
Maybe they had an appointment and they were in a hurry.
Maybe they were overwhelmed by the situation: I can be really intimidating to others.
Only: what did Noah learn now? Why do we parents have to protect our children in this way?
In this case, I wasn’t sure who was being protected from whom.
Back at home I told this story and everyone had a really good laugh because for us it has a backstory and that’s with Google Lens.
A few months before that we were in Salzburg. Google Lens comes in handy, especially when we’re on the go. That day we came up with the idea of putting our hair through the magnifying glass, curious to see what happens.
So it was everyone’s turn and each time the result was different, because our hair is so different. I was recognized as “sheep,” which is exactly what Noah spotted just by looking at my hair.
So for me the situation was doubly funny.
Back to the topic:
Is it so difficult to allow such dialogues?
Are we so afraid of making mistakes in society? Or are we, as legal guardians, ashamed of our children? Is there a reason for that?
Personally, I advocate staying curious and allowing children to make such comments or ask questions.
How else can we find out that we were wrong?
How else can we find out that such Susans are harmless and curious as well?
Talking about it and then discovering what we have in common is magical.
How would you have reacted as a legal guardian here?
Regardless of the country.
I’m very interested in that.