The Cruelty Of Calling Older Adults ‘Sweetie’ Or ‘Honey’
This article looks at how we can sometimes use age to define people and our tendency to associate stereotypes of incompetence, debilitation, and dependency. This can lead to one of the most damaging of the discriminating behaviors of ageism — we start treating older adults like children.
One of the examples they use is calling older adults “Sweetie” or “Honey” but even young people can identify as feeling discriminated against by their elders when they are called these cutesy names.
Another example is speaking overly loudly or offering assistance when none is needed.
The article is a good reminder to us to make sure we are careful about not stereotyping older adults inappropriately and making sure we treat everyone with equality and respect.