Remember Kids, When You Judge Someone Based on Something They Can’t Change It’s Called Being Prejudiced

My entire life I have been mistaken as being younger than I actually am.  My first day of junior high another student asked me if I had gotten lost on the way to elementary school.  My senior year of high school the weight lifting coach demanded to know why a freshmen was lifting with the seniors.  The summer before my senior year of college one of my co-workers mistook me for a senior in high school and asked if I had started applying to colleges.  At my last nanny job I had several people mistake me for my employers’ daughter.  So goes my growing up, little mistakes here and there of how old I am, followed by an awkward, “Really?” when I correct them.

For the most part the age confusion doesn’t bother me as much anymore as long as people treat me as an adult.  However, I was reading a blog post on the caretaking website I recently registered on and was shocked when discovered how harshly people judge young adults.  The focus on said post was asking parents if they preferred older or younger nannies.  I was flabbergasted by the number of comments from people insisting that younger nannies (often falling in the 18-24 category, but sometimes going all the way through late 20s) were lazy, irresponsible, inexperienced, self-centered, and immature.  Often these people had a bad experience with a younger nanny but they then felt inclined to toss every young caretaker into the “bad nanny” category.

Needless to say, I’m insulted.  I may have many flaws but the aforementioned faults are not found in my work.  Likewise, during my time at the seminary I have met many women who are my age and are incredibly hard working and responsible.  To assume that we are a certain way because we are young adults is called ageism and it is wrong.  It makes me wonder how many people are passing me over because of this prejudice toward young people.  Good grief!  

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