Saturday, December 3, 2016

"We Don't Say Those Words In Class"

I have a personal instance where I had to correct and reprimand my own child when she pointed out the obvious characteristics when she saw someone looking like a women who was actually a man.

My daughters are now 12 and 9 years of age. When my oldest daughter was about 4 years old, there was a man in our community that was transitioning into a women, This gentleman was so tall and had such big feet that myself and my husband at the time wondered where he would get women's high heels in the size he needed.  Well we were in the local Wal-Mart and the man was shopping and he was dressed up in his and my then 4 year old daughter, out loud said, "Momma why does that man dress like a woman?" She had her finger pointed right at him and everything. We were so embarrassed that we sped off with the shopping cart and when we were far enough away we did reprimand our daughter by saying to her that we do not point at people, it isn't good manners and that we do not shout out loud when we see someone that looks different, that we must ask those questions silently and so that we do not hurt anyone's feelings.

This was the Getting Ready stage of the Liberation Cycle that Harro (2008), the education part of the cycle, where we were getting our children ready to be self aware and have self consciousness and being aware of others differences.

The message that I believe I sent to my child was based off teaching her good manners and to respect other's differences. I do not believe our reaction in anyway showed that we were being biased or discriminating towards the trans-gendered community. We made sure to discuss and let her know that if she is ever curious about anything or anyone that she thinks maybe different from her and that she may not understand why to ask me, her mother or her father and we would help her understand.

I would hope an educator would also approach a child's questions in the same manner.


Harro, B. (2008).  Cycle of liberation.  Readings for Diversity and Social Justice, Figure 7.1, p. 53

1 comment:

  1. Hello Comesha,
    I completely understand you reaction and feeling of embarrassment to your child's reaction. When differences in lifestyles are invisible to children they will be curious about someone that is different from what they know about or are use to. That's why it's important for children to learn about people and cultures that are different in a diverse world. As I have been reflecting and evaluating my classroom I have noticed how I can implement culture and do activities that are age appropriate that teach children about themselves and others.