- A mother who identifies as gay shared on Twitter why teachers should be careful with how they refer to children’s caregivers.
- Instead of saying “moms and dads,” teachers should instead use the term, “grown ups,” she said.
- For children who don’t live in a traditional family setting, this is an easy way to be more inclusive.
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Likely out of habit, teachers — when discussing homework or a new safety precaution — will often instruct their students to relay the information to their “moms and dads.” Earlier this month, a mom who is gay explained on Twitter why using that terminology can be particularly hurtful and exclusionary for children who don’t have a traditional home life, and her thread was shared widely across the internet.
Replacing “moms and dads” with “grown ups” is a simple way educators can ensure they don’t inadvertently cause a child to feel different.
In her Twitter thread, Sirry Alang reminded teachers that the conversations they have in class are “broadcasted in everyone’s homes.”
She added that the number of times her child’s educator has said “your mom and dad” in the classroom is “infuriating,” since children who live with one parent, grandparents, gay parents, or any other family structure that doesn’t consist of a mother and father, may feel insecure while being reminded of that fact.
—Sirry Alang, PhD (she/her) (@ProfAlang) September 8, 2020
In the US, 35% of children don’t live with two married parents. The US accounts for the largest number of children who live in single-parent households. About 200,000 children are being raised by a same-sex couple. The number of children being raised by grandparents has steadily increased.
The changing face of the American family explains why Alang’s tweets resonated with so many users.
Glennon Doyle, an author, shared Alang’s Twitter thread on Instagram, and her post collected more than 100,000 likes.
“That little language difference signals to little ones that all families are real and important and should be honored,” Doyle wrote on Instagram. “That little difference can make a child feel celebrated instead of othered.”
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