Scoot: How do you explain this to your kids?

Scoot
September 21, 2017 - 1:15 pm

Scoot: How do you explain this to your kids?

 

 

 

When talking about the controversy over a 9-year-old transgender character in the reboot of “Roseanne,” a caller said putting that character on TV is wrong because he didn’t know how he would “explain” the character to his child.

 

In discussions about LGBT rights I often hear callers express their concerns about how they would explain to their children the sight of seeing two men or two women walking hand-in-hand in the French Quarter.

 

Should society ban things that might cause children to ask questions, or should parents be prepared to answer their kids’ questions?

 

The first mistake adults make is to assume that children see the world they way they see the world. There are a lot of things that children might not even notice if adults did not bring it to their attention. It should not be assumed that children recognize the nuances of everything in life. For example, it is possible that if a child saw two men or two women walking hand-in-hand,they would not see that as something they needed to question. But if a parent and a child come across such a sight and the parent makes a big deal about making sure their child doesn’t see it, then that alone would arouse curiosity.

 

In the reboot of “Roseanne,” writers have created her grandchild, Mark, to be “gender-fluid,” showing both male and female traits. Without knowing anything about the scripts, it is possible that the “gender-fluid” traits will be subtle and not inspire questions if one did not know the specifics of the character. But even if the traits displayed are more overt, shouldn’t parents be able to answer any of their children’s questions?

 

“Roseanne” was always a rather crude sitcom in its day; and in the context of society today, the idea of a 9-year-old transgender grandchild is not that outrageous. Many will not bother watching the new “Roseanne” because they didn’t like the tone and writing of the original, but does the presence of a “gender-fluid” child concern you?

 

The first thing to remember when explaining things to children is that you do not need to give them all the graphic details. If a child did ask a question about a transgender character on television or in real life, the simple explanation could be “not every child is like you.”

 

It might end there with no further questions; but if a question did follow, then find the words to further explain that not everyone is alike. Kids like to play with different toys, and not every child likes every toy. Couldn’t that be a way of explaining how everyone is different?

 

Parents who resent LGBT rights because it might cause them to have to answer a child’s question seem to be trying to shed their responsibility as parents. If a child asks a question about two men or two women holding hands or showing any signs of affection to the point where a child asks a question – would you know how to answer them?

 

Use the analogy with how your child doesn’t like every toy or every other kid or that your child can relate to liking something different than another child – maybe a sibling – should suffice.

 

I think parents fear that when a child is curious about an LGBT couple, the parent has to go into detail about their sex lives. That’s not necessary. And if you are a Christian or Muslim or any religion that does not condone the behavior of same-sex individuals explain to them the way you would explain a heterosexual couple that was into heavy petting and making out in public. It’s okay to say you disagree with that public display of affection. If it happens on television you can explain that your religious beliefs are different from their religious beliefs.

 

Even though we all want to keep our children innocent as long as possible, no parent can shelter their kids from the realities of life that appear on TV, the Internet or before their eyes in life.

 

There are bad people in the world, and you may see them with your kids while getting gas or while at the store or just walking down the street. Be prepared to answer their questions.

 

If your child is old enough to understand the basics of politics, aren’t you prepared to answer their questions about someone or something they see or hear that you totally disagree with?

 

The retort from parents, “How am I going to explain this to my child?” suggests that parents are helpless. I grew up in New Orleans, and my parents took us to the French Quarter often. My brother and sisters saw same-sex couples and drag queens; and back then no one threw up their arms and said, “How will I explain this to my child?”

 

Parents need not act like they have no power or control and be prepared to answer the questions of their kids.

 

 

When talking about the controversy over a 9-year-old transgender character in the reboot of “Roseanne,” a caller said putting that character on TV is wrong because he didn’t know how he would “explain” the character to his child.

In discussions about LGBT rights I often hear callers express their concerns about how they would explain to their children the sight of seeing two men or two women walking hand-in-hand in the French Quarter.

Should society ban things that might cause children to ask questions, or should parents be prepared to answer their kids’ questions?

The first mistake adults make is to assume that children see the world they way they see the world. There are a lot of things that children might not even notice if adults did not bring it to their attention. It should not be assumed that children recognize the nuances of everything in life. For example, it is possible that if a child saw two men or two women walking hand-in-hand,they would not see that as something they needed to question. But if a parent and a child come across such a sight and the parent makes a big deal about making sure their child doesn’t see it, then that alone would arouse curiosity.

In the reboot of “Roseanne,” writers have created her grandchild, Mark, to be “gender-fluid,” showing both male and female traits. Without knowing anything about the scripts, it is possible that the “gender-fluid” traits will be subtle and not inspire questions if one did not know the specifics of the character. But even if the traits displayed are more overt, shouldn’t parents be able to answer any of their children’s questions?

“Roseanne” was always a rather crude sitcom in its day; and in the context of society today, the idea of a 9-year-old transgender grandchild is not that outrageous. Many will not bother watching the new “Roseanne” because they didn’t like the tone and writing of the original, but does the presence of a “gender-fluid” child concern you?

The first thing to remember when explaining things to children is that you do not need to give them all the graphic details. If a child did ask a question about a transgender character on television or in real life, the simple explanation could be “not every child is like you.”

It might end there with no further questions; but if a question did follow, then find the words to further explain that not everyone is alike. Kids like to play with different toys, and not every child likes every toy. Couldn’t that be a way of explaining how everyone is different?

Parents who resent LGBT rights because it might cause them to have to answer a child’s question seem to be trying to shed their responsibility as parents. If a child asks a question about two men or two women holding hands or showing any signs of affection to the point where a child asks a question – would you know how to answer them?

Use the analogy with how your child doesn’t like every toy or every other kid or that your child can relate to liking something different than another child – maybe a sibling – should suffice.

I think parents fear that when a child is curious about an LGBT couple, the parent has to go into detail about their sex lives. That’s not necessary. And if you are a Christian or Muslim or any religion that does not condone the behavior of same-sex individuals explain to them the way you would explain a heterosexual couple that was into heavy petting and making out in public. It’s okay to say you disagree with that public display of affection. If it happens on television you can explain that your religious beliefs are different from their religious beliefs.

Even though we all want to keep our children innocent as long as possible, no parent can shelter their kids from the realities of life that appear on TV, the Internet or before their eyes in life.

There are bad people in the world, and you may see them with your kids while getting gas or while at the store or just walking down the street. Be prepared to answer their questions.

If your child is old enough to understand the basics of politics, aren’t you prepared to answer their questions about someone or something they see or hear that you totally disagree with?

The retort from parents, “How am I going to explain this to my child?” suggests that parents are helpless. I grew up in New Orleans, and my parents took us to the French Quarter often. My brother and sisters saw same-sex couples and drag queens; and back then no one threw up their arms and said, “How will I explain this to my child?”

Parents need not act like they have no power or control and be prepared to answer the questions of their kids.

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