I want them to know that I take them seriously.
Because they’re a person. A complete person.
If my child knows that I take them seriously, that I’m actively listening to what they’re saying, then maybe they won’t be scared to tell me when something’s wrong.
I want them to know that their words matter and have an impact and that words can change things.
I want them to know that their body is theirs and they’ll learn how it feels best.
I want them to know that they can come to me about anything and that I will listen, and not brush them off.
Because I want my child to learn how to communicate, to not be scared to express what their personal boundaries are.
I want them to learn that that EVERYONE deserves respect and recognition and that it is not something that is dependent on age.
I want my child to know that you respect a person because they are a living, breathing person with complex emotions and identities and that those things are what make people beautiful and thus worthy of respect. Not because a person has been fortunate enough to be living on this Earth for a longer amount of time than them.
I want my child to know that they deserve to be taken seriously so that they can understand that their actions have consequences and will understand the need to be responsible and make responsible decisions.
I want my child to know that they are their own person with their own identities that they deserve to find and discover on their own, it’s my responsibility to guide them in that discovery, not to do it for them.
Yes there will be rules, and yes there will be discipline, but these are in place for them to be able to properly navigate society so that they may find their place in it, not to be complicit in it and it’s problematic structures.
I do this because I know how I was treated when I was a child and I refuse to have my children feel the same way.