I've Taught My Daughter to Hate

I've Taught My Daughter to Hate

“Boo! Hiss!” That is what my daughter will yell out whenever we drive by a McDonald's or a Burger King. On occasion, she will also stick out her tongue at the massively popular fast food chains. And you know what? This behavior totally warms my kale-eating, Greek yogurt-loving, grass-fed beef burger-grilling heart.


Image: greg westfall


This isn't the only negative behavior she displays when faced with something she thinks is “like totally gross.” When she sees a person smoking on the street she will not only give them the stink eye, but she covers her mouth in an attempt to not have a single particle of smoke reach her mouth or nose. It’s pretty dramatic and usually leaves the smoker bewildered by her reaction. But this too warms my heart (or in this case my lungs).

Yes, this is all my doing. Since she was old enough to comprehend the English language, I have not-so-subtly taught her to have a disdain for certain things, so much so that you could call it a “hate.” When we would see a Mickey D's commercial on TV, I would warn her of the dangers of fast food. When we would see someone smoking, I would bring up the dangers of cigarettes. These carefully crafted asides on my part really have sunk in, and now I don't have to give her any guidance to "hate" these things — she hates them all on her own.

It's not just lifestyle choices that I've conditioned her to "hate." The bigger issues that plague our society have earned her hatred via the stories I've told or the things she's seen on the news (which we rarely let her view). I have also taught her to “hate” bullying, to “hate” violence, to “hate” pollution, to “hate” cruelty, to hate using the word “hate” (it is a "four-letter word" in our home).

Of course hate is really not something we should be teaching our children, especially when it is in reference to people. But I will go on record that there are some behaviors or unhealthy things that are totally hate-worthy, like smoking. And it is our duty to guide our children to think negatively of those things — things that can harm their bodies and, in the end, kill them. Or, to hate the evil that sadly infects the world. It is part of learning right versus wrong and good versus bad.

As parents, we must be mindful of the negative viewpoints we are passing on to our children, not to brainwash them, but to give them the tools for a cleaner life. Teaching hate — in any form — is a slippery slope. In the cases of fast food and cigarettes, it is more about teaching our children to make good choices down the road. But some parents teach a different kind of hate: a hate for those who are different, a hate for those who have a different skin color, a hate for those who have a different religion. That kind of hate is something to hate right there.

Do you teach your children to hate anything? If so, what?

Originally posted on mom.me

More from mom.me

Related Posts

Mom, Are You Friends with People Who Smoke?

My boys are in a phase where they are acutely aware of cigarette smoke, that smoking is bad for you and that it seems silly to make a bad choice when you know it isn't healthy. They're also not quiet, so we have loud conversations about smokers in public places and I want to crawl in a hole and die as smokers look at me with a look that says, "Shut your kid up." I want to apologize to them and then bum their cigarette. I also don't want my kids to ever pick up the bad habit I did in college, so I loved Michelle's post at Honest and Truly! I hope my kids make good decisions some day... better than I did.   Read more >

Oregon Passes a Smoke-Free Car Law, and Now I Want to Move There Even More

Since we made a visit to Seattle and British Columbia back in 2010, we have been building a dream of living in the Pacific Northwest. And after we had our daughter the next year, we began outlining a plan to move our jobs out that way. So we narrowed the search down to a few major cities in the Northwest, most of them being in Oregon. We were drawn to the state's culture and climate, and we have been trying our luck in their job market.   Read more >

Why Are So Many People Still Smoking?

Health officials reported this week that U.S. smoking rates are not going down, and that one if five adults are still smoking regularly.  I find this news so disappointing, especially considering that smoking is the number one cause of "preventable" deaths in this country.  What are people thinking?   Read more >


In order to comment on BlogHer.com, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.