Surprised? It’s understandable, we use the word “kid” quite normally, and even fondly. “This is my first kid.”, “Do you have kids?” etc. However, this term has been in usage with reference to children only since the 19th century, and began as a slang. Back then, children were still considered little rogues, and the word referred to their wild and energetic ways in a demeaning manner. Keeping that in mind, here are reasons why you should stop referring to children as “kids”:
- It’s demeaning and discouraging. The word “kid” is an informal slang, and refers to them as something they are not - little energetic goats. Can a goat grow up to lead people and think logically? Exactly.
- It’s disrespectful. You can just as well call them by their name instead of saying, “Hey, kid, come here.” The word makes us look down on them.
- It encourages others to be disrespectful. It’s not just you. When people around you hear you refer to children so, they pick it up without being conscious of it. Maybe not everyone, but it is still better not to spread this flawed practice.
- It makes people take children and their opinions lightly. The word “kid” is akin to how “junior” is used, where people look down on the junior because they have the least experience. But you know what they say - a child’s vision is pure and clear, without any experiences to cloud it. Respect that.
- It belittles children and their potential. Calling them a “kid” makes us feel superior, and we feel like we know much better than they do. This could only cloud us from seeing and acknowledging all the ways they shine.
- It’s a bad example for children. Children learn by observing people around them, and if they feel it’s okay to refer to younger people as “kids”, they will carry it on through the rest of their lives.
- It can change their attitude towards us as well. As long as we continue taking children lightly, they will also continue to take us equally lightly. However, if you listen to and interact with a child as equals, you will find that they are deeply insightful and observant.