The words we use matter. Infants are not “its”. Toddlers don’t need “taming”. Wild animals might need taming (in the rare instance that’s necessary), but toddlers need acceptance, guidance, and understanding.
Each time we speak or write we are not only reflecting our perceptions, but also reinforcing them and affecting others. If you catch yourself using objectifying or dehumanizing words when referring to children, take a moment to think about how — deep down — you might be perceiving them. It’s not uncommon. These are pervasive views, deeply ingrained in our culture (though if this doesn’t stop soon, I’ll need taming).
Remember that your perception of the children in your care is a crucial fork in the road. This is where you’ll take the path to respectful care or something less so.
“A person’s a person no matter how small.” –Dr. Seuss
(Photo by vdrg dansschool on Flickr)