Children are as much of a person as anybody out there. Some people forget that children are actually people. They are not an alien being designed to irritate, annoy, or inconvenience ‘adults’ on purpose. Adults forget they were once someone’s child. Someone brought them into the world and hopefully showed you some love and patience.
I get it. Not everyone likes being around children. Not everyone thinks your children are adorable and cute. Not everyone will exhibit the same patience towards them. But I will argue that children should not be discounted for the sole fact that they are children. It wouldn’t be acceptable today if you discount someone’s being because of their race, gender, or sexual orientation.
We took a trip recently and booked a red eye flight. This was strategic so that most of the flight the children would be asleep. We boarded the plane and settled in without incident. A woman comes towards us and mutters to herself, “ugh! Kids… This is going to be a terrible flight.” I responded as gracefully as I could and said, “That wasn’t a very nice thing to say.” Little does this woman know that our kids are experienced travellers. As we had hoped, our kids fell asleep for most of the flight. The disgruntled woman was able to sit in the comfort of her economy class seat without disruption from my children.
I’m pretty sure Jesus likes children. So when you’re at mass and see a family with young children, recognize that this family is trying to bring up their children in their faith. Yesterday, a woman scolded my wife to “learn how to control” our child.
I just brushed it off but my wife was visibly upset over this disgruntled church goer. Funny thing is half the time, our ‘uncontrollable’ child was at children’s liturgy most of the service. Clearly 5 minutes of fidgeting was too much for this church goer.
It’s easy to discount a child’s behaviour but it’s somehow acceptable to show rudeness or judgement towards little children and their parents.
A majority of people our family has encountered have shown us kindness, patience, and generosity. Thank you.
To the minority, the woman on the plane and the grumpy churchgoer, I will pray for you and recognize that maybe you’re just having a bad day or moment. I get it. I have bad moments too.