One mum argues why teachers should stop using the term 'mum and dad' about a child's parents
Families come in many different shapes and forms.
While most families still consist of a mum and dad and their children, more and more families don't look exactly like this anymore. Some families have two mums and children, some two dads and their kids. Other families have just one parent and one child, while in other homes, grandparents could be the caretakers, not mum and dad themselves.
And regardless of how your family look, it is still a family.
Which is why one mum recently went viral when she posted about how it is time, maybe, that teachers stop referring to children's caregivers as mum and dad when talking to kids, but instead use the more neutral term, grown-ups.
Why? Because if a teacher tells the class to "ask their mum and dad" to do something, the kids whose family don't consist of a mum and a dad are immediately going to feel a bit left out.
Associate Professor Sirry Lang recently raised the issue on Twitter, writing:
"Teachers, ur class convos are broadcasted in everyone’s homes. The # of times the teacher has said 'your mom and dad' to my kid’s class is infuriating. But a BRAVE kid just said... 'But I only told my grandma at lunchtime because my sister and I live with our grandma'.”
"Then, of course, my kid jumped in right away & said: 'I don’t have a dad & it’s ok because my mom said there are different kinds of families. Even though I would want a dad but she’s gay. Gay means she only dates women.' LOL. Now my business is out there."
Teachers, ur class convos are broadcasted in everyone’s homes. The # of times the teacher has said “your mom and dad” to my kid’s class is infuriating. But a BRAVE kid just said...”But I only told my grandma at lunch time because my sister and I live with our grandma.”
— Sirry Alang, PhD (she/her) (@ProfAlang) September 8, 2020
Light-hearted as it was, the tweet no doubt make a serious point and have attracted tens of thousands of likes and retweets.
Famous American author, Glennon Doyle, saw the Tweet and responded on her own Twitter and Instagram with a suggestion for teachers to solve the issue.
"Please consider saying 'your grownups'," she wrote. "I used that when I was teaching and it helped. Adults' language can determine children's belonging."
"That little language difference signals to little ones that all families are real and important and should be honoured. That little difference can make a child feel celebrated instead of bothered."