ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Parents, Your Children Are Listening

Updated on May 27, 2009

Why do parents pass on bigotry?

See results

Words of Wisdom From Stephen Sondheim

“Careful the things you say
Children will listen
Careful the things you do
Children will see and learn
Children may not obey, but children will listen
Children will look to you for which way to turn
To learn what to be
Careful before you say "Listen to me"
Children will listen”

-Stephen Sondheim-

I recently watched the video recording of Stephen Sondheim musical, Into The Woods. In short, it’s a story that weaves various fairy tales together (Cinderella, Jack & The Beanstalk, Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood), taking the characters and putting them on one street. Though you are told each story, it’s less about their actual stories than what each character means to the other. It’s always been a favorite of mine.

For some unknown reason, I never really listened to the lyrics of the songs. I only heard the music. The above lines appear in the song, Children Will Listen. Though it turns into a cast song, it starts as a solo for the “Witch.” We’re told as children to fear witches. They are evil and nothing good can come from knowing one. With that in mind, isn’t that some amazing advice from an evil person?

Growing up, my mother’s opinions were law. If she disliked someone, I disliked them too. I didn’t begin to question her reasoning until I was older. Once I did, I was in for a shock. My mind had to open really fast.

In today’s society, there are many taboos being debated, gay rights in particular. Parents now must educate their children on this group of people that they themselves may not have been educated on. We are taught to fear the unknown and the unfamiliar. To a straight person raised in a straight family with straight views, homosexuality is certainly unfamiliar. Though there is nothing to fear, people still fear gay people and fight accepting them. Children see this. They are learning earlier and earlier to be bigots. Parents, do you not realize what you are doing?

Years ago, African Americans looked pretty scary and unfamiliar to white people. White parents had to decide whether or not to take the leap and embrace the unknown. Children waited, patiently, for advice on whether or not they should fear African Americans. There were some parents who, knowing it was wrong to feel prejudice against another human being, opened up their minds immediately and encouraged their children to do the same. There were other adults who took their time, needing the Civil Rights Movement to open it for them and their children stayed on the fence too. There are still some parents who have yet to open their minds to this race. Thanks to these parents, another generation of bigots has been born. Parents, do you care about what you are doing?

Though open-minded, I still have my prejudices. As I want to be a parent some day soon, I am working hard to work out these thoughts. I firmly believe that to love a child purely, you need to rid yourself of the hatred in your heart and mind. If my children are anything like me, they will listen my every word, at least for the first ten years or so. I need to make sure what I say is worth hearing.

Please, parents, remember you have an audience. Pick your words carefully. Don’t pass on intolerance without solid reasons. Our world doesn’t need any more conflict.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)