Teaching Children to Take Ownership of Their Opinions
Gray is an ugly color...classical music is stupid...no one in their right mind eats anchovies...how could you not have liked that movie?
Each of these are statements of opinion, but rather than the speaker taking responsibility for his/her opinion, the statement is thrust at another person or group of people. The statements are judgments of someone else's likes and dislikes -- and why would/should we sit in judgment of such things?
When my granddaughter pointed to my piece of pizza and said, "Black olives are gross," I told her two things. One: It's impolite to criticize the food on someone else's plate and Two: You can say, "I think black olives are gross." The latter statement is true -- you don't like black olives. The first statement condemns black olives for everyone and implies whoever eats them must be weird.
This is something I first had to work on in myself -- and I have. It doesn't mean I don't make broad statements any more, because sometimes I still do. I have a jar that I must pay quarters into when I slip. These days, though, instead of saying, "That car is ugly," I say, "That isn't a car I'd care to own."
I know, I know -- the world is full of major problems, so why would I make this small thing such an issue? Because the power of words can have great impact. Courtesy and etiquette are not valued in today's society as they once were, but that doesn't mean they are not still important.
Image Credit » https://pixabay.com/en/boy-man-bowing-smile-happy-male-312305/ by ClkerFreeVectorImages