CHICAGO — During this holiday season, the treatment of young children in public places is something that should be the concern of all of us. Children don`t really like to shop, especially children ages one to ten, unless it is at a toy store or specifically for them.
Instead of dragging them to all corners of the earth for shopping, perhaps what we should do is give them our time. By time I mean involving ourselves in children`s lives, children`s concerns, children`s expectations and children`s joys-not having them conform to adult wishes as if they were an object.
We often see children shopping late of night who are terribly fatigued and not interested at all in finding a sweater for Aunt Kay. I cringe every time I see a child getting smacked for “not behaving right“ while shopping.
Children need to learn respect and manners, but to attempt to teach manners while they are involved in adult activities is not the appropriate place. The holidays would be a lot happier for all if we realized the most precious gift is the gift of our child and we should celebrate their lives.