Saturday, 25 February 2017

Reflections on a child's t-shirt

Just earlier today, in a supermarket, I saw a little boy wearing a t-shirt that read ...

... "Be thankful I'm not your kid!"

I was concerned.

I didn't know the child, but the little boy seemed like any other child.  He seemed nice enough.  He didn't appear, for example, as if he was trying to maim his sister in any way.

Why would a parent buy this shirt for their kid?

It sends two messages to the child, both negative.

One message was that there was something wrong with this kid.  If a total stranger (such as myself) should be thankful that he was not my child, the implication is that the parents are not thankful that he is their child.  That's a bad impression for any parent to give any child, ... that the child is simply not good enough to be thankful for.

The second message that this t-shirt gives is almost as bad as the first (not quite as bad, but almost as bad).  This message is that the kid is expected to misbehave.  You're saying, "Hey world, watch out for my kid.  He's trouble," whether he is or not.  You're saying this child will spend his school years as a Bart Simpson and will grow up to be a Donald Trump.

It gives the signal
  • that this is the kid who will be expected to throw a tantrum in the biscuits aisle,
  • that this is the kid who will be expected to eat the chocolate bar before it's paid for, 
  • that this is the kid who will be expected to pick a fight with another kid, just for the sake of picking a fight.
whether or not this is what is the particular child is actually like. 

Epic fail, parents, epic fail.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Constructive comments, from a diversity of viewpoints, are always welcome. I reserve the right to choose which comments will be printed. I'm happy to post opinions differing from mine. Courtesy, an ecumenical attitude, and a willingness to give your name always help. A sense of humour is a definite "plus", as well.