Do you label your child without even realising it?

N'aaaw. Here comes another rant....

I have noticed so many people label their children when it is entirely irrelevant to what they're discussing, and I bet they don't even realise that they're doing it. Because if someone else labelled them the same way, I bet my bottom dollar that those parents would have something to say about it.

Would you label your child by a physical difference? Let's see...

> My black son?
> My ginger daughter?
> My big nosed son?

Would you label your child by a sexual preference? Again, let's see...

> My bisexual daughter?
> My cross dresser son?
> My straight son?

I'm doubting that anyone reading this would feel the need to 'label' their child in this way. So why is it becoming more and more noticeable, to me at least, that parent's are labelling their children when they have autism entirely unnecessarily in every day situations?

I recently came across a competition to win a kids game and the first mandatory entry was to answer a question: "who would you give this to and why?". OK, now we all know some people just do not bother answering comp questions correctly but one entrant's answer was quite simply this... "My autistic son"

WHAT? What relevance is your son's condition to wanting to win a game?  Will it assist with his learning, is that what you mean to say? Well then answer without the label, it's easily done: "I would like to win this for my son as it will assist in his learning." See? Nowt mentioned about his autism there.

Another one was a conversation between a couple of ladies about bedroom décor for their kids. One lady exclaimed that her daughter loves fairies and another lady felt the need to say "my daughter loves fairies, and she's autistic too!"

SO?! So what?! Why has that just been plonked on to the end of a sentence willy-nilly?

Look, no offence, I am not claiming that I am disinterested in your child's wellbeing, I just wonder why you've thrust it upon the conversation where it has no place?

Before anyone feels I am looking down on autism by the way - Carson is going through the lengthy process himself. He has panic attacks, number/dates obsessions and is a freakin' genius to boot, I wouldn't feel the need to label him unless the conversation was specifically regarding behaviour. Or, of course, if someone was perturbed by something he may have said!

I fully get that just because you can't see it, it doesn't mean to say that the person who has it isn't afftected. But by mindlessly labelling your child, you are encouraging and inviting judgemental behaviour. Yes, we shouldn't be ashamed or feel pushed into hiding the subject of autism, on the contrary! But at least bring awareness in a more effective manner and in a relevant context.

I've always been pinickity about labelling anyway. Tabloids are the worst! Front page headlines that sneak in a victim's religion but then when you read the story you discover they died in a car accident or something... religion has no bearing on the story whatsoever so WHY LABEL?!! Why did we need to know they were muslim or islamic on the front page? It's like they're TRYING to invite or provoke emotions relating to something that is completely irrelevant to the story.

Anyway, all I'm trying to say is keep an ear out and see if you notice it as much as I do. What are your thoughts on this?

Ooooof I'm exhausted! Pass me a bourbon cream....

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13 comments:

  1. Do you feel better now? I agree why do it if there is no reason to? Kids don't notice these things there is no need for adults to point them out unless appropriate. Olivia loves Carson the way he is the child prodegy who uses more grown up words than me! And I do too xx

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  2. hahaha!! And that's it though isn't it. I don't need to tell Olivia that Carson is different. She knows already, and accepts that without question. Why are adults so different?! xx

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  3. I have to agree. Talking to friends and they mention people they know - oh the gay ones, the black ones, the odd ones! Why can't they just use their names?!?!?!?!?! x

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  4. I completely agree! I hate hearing people labelling their kids like that, I work in a bookshop and it happens a lot in conversations with customers there.

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    1. I don't think anyone is intentionally doing it, it ... just happens doesn't it? Bet you hear all sorts at the book shop! Thanks for commenting x

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  5. People overuse labels in all kinds of ways and it can be annoying. As for tabloids - provoking a reaction is exactly what they are trying to do. Straightforward reporting of the facts doesn't sell papers!

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    1. Yeah you're right. Doesn't stop it getting my goat though! :-) xx

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  6. I think lots of people do this with out realising. It is a shame, as it teaches kids to see and raise those differences up to a greater importance.

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    1. yup - exactly my point! thanks for commenting x

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  7. I give extra conscious efforts to avoid this, but it's true that some people do it to their children and not even realize it. It sends a negative message to children and closes their minds in embracing diversity. I hope a lot of parents/guardians/adults in general get a chance to read this. Great post!

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    1. Thanks for such a lovely comment. :-) x

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  8. Really important post, people need to consider the implications or homogenising others, their kids, anyone with labels! Thanks for linking this great post to #brilliantblogposts

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  9. I completely agree, it's definitely something I've noticed too. My son was premature but when I disuss him or enter a competition for a toy/clothing/other I don't say I'd love to win for my premature son - I simply say "my son".
    I have bipolar disorder but likewise I would dislike it if someone referred to me as "the parent with bipolar disorder" or something similar. There is so much more to people than their ailments/sexuality/race/religion etc

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