Archive for July, 2016

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On consent. And respect. 

July 25, 2016

I’m at an uncle’s place in the middle of a big family gathering, and it’s been great to see A spend time with many of her grand-uncles and aunts. But this post is going to be a rant. On how people take little people for granted. And don’t treat them with enough respect. And how they don’t care about consent. 

  1. If my daughter repeatedly tells you that she doesn’t like you pinching or even touching her cheeks, please respect that. Sure, go ahead and laugh at how cute it sounds when she tells you not to do that in a mixture of Tamil and Kannada, but PLEASE. RESPECT. THAT. And DON’T do it again after a while for heaven’s sake. 
  2. What strange joy do you derive from taking away her book or toy and refusing to give to her and making her cry? She is a child, who doesn’t understand the concept of sharing. What on earth is your excuse?
  3. Don’t even get me started on trying to bribe her with things so that she will let you pick her up. Or spend time playing with you. Is this what we want to teach kids? What are we doing, saying, ‘If you come to me, I’ll give you sweets?’ Not only is that manipulative, that’s also how kidnappers operate.
  4. Consent. Ask the child if it’s okay to pick her up. (She is my daughter, and don’t pick her up if she doesn’t want to) Ask her if you can tie her hair. Or hey, maybe you can even ask the mother of the child (who is sitting with her) if it’s okay for you to tie her hair. And for ffs, ASK before you shove a mobile screen with a Chota Bheem video into her face while she’s actually quite nicely eating her lunch with no distractions. 
  5. Don’t offer her maggi noodles without asking me!
  6. If you see her brushing her teeth at bedtime, please don’t say hey stay up for a little longer, someone is coming over with sweets!
  7. And how on earth is it acceptable to interrupt her dinner since you want a picture with her? How’s it okay to say ‘You’re always eating in pics with me. Stop eating for a bit and take a pic with me.’ You are nearly 25 years older than she is. Please grow up. 

End rant. 

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