Parental Status Discrimination 6 Rules: How To Avoid It Best

The crucial parental status discrimination etiquette rules. The appropriate behaviors to avoid the most common forms of discrimination toward parents. Follow these rules to be inclusive and avoid offending others.

What parental status discrimination etiquette is

Parental status discrimination etiquette is the set of rules to be inclusive and avoid discrimination based on someone’s status as a parent. Such rules include:

  • How to train yourself to avoid discriminating parents.
  • The inappropriate behaviors to avoid.
  • How to deal with parental status discrimination.

Everyone should respect parental status discrimination etiquette to avoid discriminatory behaviors, respect others, and be inclusive.

If you experience or witness discrimination toward parents, follow the etiquette rules to appropriately deal with the offending party.

General parental status discrimination etiquette principles

People tend to feel more comfortable with someone who is similar to them. Such as someone with the same gender, ethnicity, age, parental status, and so on. Thus, when people perceive diversity, they may get uncomfortable or defensive.

Parental status discrimination etiquette is based on three main principles:

  • Help people positively perceive parental status diversity and avoid prejudice.
  • Ensure equal treatment.
  • Avoid any behavior that can offend others based on their parental status.
how to avoid discriminating parents

Parental status discrimination etiquette rules

1) Train yourself to get comfortable with parental status diversity

Instead of focusing on the perceived diversity, it is best to train ourselves to focus on the similarities. The things that we have in common with other people are disproportionally more than the differences. We all eat, drink, breathe, spend time with someone we love, have fun, work, expect fair compensation for our work, and so on. Parental status is a factor that does not affect such similarities at all. Thus, it is not as relevant as one might think.

While parents may have different commitments and priorities, such differences do not affect our basic rights and values as individuals.

2) Avoid generalization based on someone’s parental status

Never generalize. Personal traits and behaviors are almost always disconnected. If you see a parent coming to work early, it does not mean that all parents go to work at an early time. Or that going to work early is something that defines being a parent.

3) Adopt an inclusive language 

Never refer to someone by their physical traits, body parts, behaviors, or parental status. Similarly, avoid any term that can be perceived as derogatory based on someone’s parental status.

Avoid words, thoughts, or sentences that imply segregation. Such as “we” as opposed to “you” (your group) or “they”.

4) Challenge your own prejudice toward parents

Prejudice leads to racism and discrimination. Thus, to avoid parental status discrimination, we need to fight our own prejudices.

Train yourself to challenge your own prejudice. Ask yourself whether your opinion about someone is based on your experience or on what other people say. It is best to base our opinions on our own first-hand experience. We cannot rely solely on what others may say or may have experienced, as they might be biased.

Similarly, ask yourself whether your opinion about someone would change if the person had a different parental status. Are there objective facts that informed your opinion? Or is your opinion based mostly on perceived factors?

5) Avoid sensitive topics

Avoid conversation topics that can be controversial, too personal, or at risk of misinterpretation. Some people that have experienced significant parental status discrimination may be particularly sensitive to some topics. Be respectful of someone’s commitment and priorities.

It is most appropriate to make small talk to get to know other people. Small talk help build rapport, understand boundaries, and avoid venturing into conversation topics that may be sensitive.

6) Be tolerant of mistakes

Parental status discrimination is wrong and it should be prevented. However, it is the best etiquette to avoid confrontation. Instead, when possible, choose tolerance and dialogue.

People are generally good and want to be good. Discrimination toward parents often comes from a lack of education about equality or exposure to diversity. Thus, the best cure against discrimination toward parents is to patiently educate people and expose them to diversity in a non-threatening way.

When someone makes an offensive remark, do not confront them. Instead, patiently make them aware that their remark or behavior can be offensive to you. Briefly explain your reasons.

Try your best to not sound judgemental or self-righteous. Instead, consider yourself privileged because you received education about equality or exposure to diversity, while the other person clearly did not.

Do not expect immediate results. People need time to learn, absorb experiences, understand their mistakes, and learn from them. Be tolerant and have faith in others and their goodwill.

How to deal with parental status discrimination

Discrimination toward parents in your social circle

Help friends, relatives, and people you care about to correct their mistakes. Make them aware of what parental status discrimination is and why it should be avoided. Be tolerant and non-confrontational. Try to start a dialogue and help them understand what behaviors to avoid and why. If the other person does not show any sign of improvement over time, it may be best to reconsider your relationship with them.

Parental status discrimination etiquette at work or in the office

Every employer has the duty to create a work environment that is welcoming and inclusive. While a tolerant attitude is most appropriate in informal and social circles, parental status discrimination should not be tolerated in any professional or institutional setting.

If you experience or witness parental status discrimination at work, you can politely correct the offending party. If the issue persists, avoid confrontation. Instead, involve your human resources function. When you find yourself in a work environment where discrimination is endemic, do not start a crusade and leave.

Parental status discrimination etiquette at schools and universities

Educational institutions have the duty to educate people about equality. Thus, any discriminatory behavior in such venues cannot be tolerated and must be corrected.

If you experience or witness parental status discrimination in an educational institution, you should report it immediately to the institution’s governing bodies. If the issue persists, it is perfectly appropriate to escalate it to any supervisory institution.

parental status discrimination worst mistakes

Parental status discrimination etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. More about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the worst discrimination etiquette mistakes. 

  • 10/10. Discriminating based on someone’s parental status.
  • 10/10. Tolerating persistent discrimination toward parents.
  • 9/10. Making generalizations based on parental status.
  • 8/10. Speaking in a non-inclusive language.