I loathe the word “retard”. It’s probably my least favorite word in the entire world.
Why, you ask?
Because it’s not a “word” that should be used to describe someone you dislike, a person’s actions, or an inanimate object.
It’s a medical diagnosis people. It’s a diagnosis that changes lives daily all over the world. It’s not a word your 10 year old should use toward their sibling, e.g. “Mom, Jane is retarded” it’s not a word your 10 year old should use to express their feelings toward homework, teachers, Miley Cyrus, the cat, or anyone or anything else.
In my house the word “retard” is absolutely banned. I’d rather my children cuss than use that word. (Not that they do either, it’s just an illustration)
The next time your child says ” (insert name here) is retarded” stop to think about the meaning of the word! Stop to consider the children in their school who will carry that diagnosis in a medical file for the rest of their lives. Stop to think about the parents of that child and how they feel when they’re in Wal-Mart and they hear your child say “broccoli is retarded” while they look down at their precious child and their heart breaks. Your child has just reinforced one of the many, many hardships their child will have to overcome in their lifetime. Stop right where you are and use that time to teach your child the life lesson they’ve just been presented with.
We spend so much time these days teaching our children to be tolerant of people and their differences, but not many households actually stop to teach their children how horrific this word is when it’s casually thrown about. I’m begging you, teach your children to love those who need that love and acceptance the most.
I’m sure you’re all wondering why I am posting this. That’s not my story to tell, just please know it’s being passed on to you because I’ve seen the hurt and disappointment it causes in so many ways and I don’t want my children to grow up in a society that deems the casual use of this particular word acceptable.
UDATE: Apparently she and I woke up on the same side of the bed yesterday: http://tinyurl.com/yjvrdoa
Just so you know, her post is MUCH better than mine! I actually hung out for a while, read several posts on her blog and added her to my reader. 🙂 I needed one more blog to read really badly, but WOW is she an amazing woman!!