Mini Stereotype Guru Shows Adult That Stereotypes Are Inaccurate

October 22nd, 2013 | Categories: Uncategorized

We communicate stereotypes all the time. Even the most self-righteous politically correct liberal do-gooder still slips and uses stereotypes. Folks I speak with love catching me communicating a stereotype. I am sure it’s as fulfilling as a whack a mole game, finally catching that mosquito that’s been harassing you, or watching your 105lb friend gain wait from a pregnancy. My point is, we all stereotype. Today, though, I learned that some of us don’t.

Kids.

My daughter, son, and I were chatting with the local UPS employee, a regular in our building over the last ten years. We were discussing that my son had no jacket and must not have been cold while my daughter was wearing two layers of jackets and must have been cold. Seems like a logical conclusion.

Then, the UPS employee made a leap from logical to stereotypical. He said, “That’s the way it is, right? Women are always cold and men are not.”

Well my little Mini Stereotype Guru didn’t miss a beat. Quick as possible she contradicted the stereotype. This is impressive considering that most adults might not have even registered the stereotype let alone identified it as inaccurate, chosen to contradict it, thought of an example at all, and opted to communicate the example.

Well, my little Mini Stereotype Guru did just fine. She said, “Well, my grandma is always hot and she’s a girl so that’s not true.”

Adults like to simplify things for kids. But communicating stereotypes because they think it will be easier for a child to understand underestimates the power of a child’s mind to process information. There are children my daughter’s age of 6 years old who speak three languages. With this kind of brain power of course she can handle understanding that stereotypes are inaccurate because people are complicated and can’t be reduced to a binary.

People communicate stereotypes all the time. Even the Stereotype Guru slips every once in a while. Not kids though. They can see through stereotypes… at least until their parents have trained them to do otherwise.

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