There’s a widespread self-perpetuating belief that some people are good [us for example] and some people are bad [those other people]; in recent years the bad ones are described as having made “bad choices”.
There are a lot of unfortunate consequences to this view of humans. One really awful one is that parents sometimes put their own children in the bad category. Though children can hit, kick, yell, and act uncooperative [hard on the adults, I know], the behavior is always a result of the child feeling disconnected. What the child does when they feel that way isn’t really harmful to that child. Our responses as parents, grandparents, teachers and friends can be. Children need limits placed firmly and often. And they need those limits to be set without forgetting the goodness of the child.
A result of children being raised with the sense of their being “bad” is some of the adult behavior we see now: building walls –in all senses– to keep out the bad people, or the flip side, feeling unworthy of being treated with respect.
Another outcome is our prison system. [I guess you could say the economic and educational causes of the pipeline to prison is at least partly a result too]. But to warehouse so many people for acting –often as very young people–for decades in inhuman conditions is a direct result of the treating of some people as irredeemably “bad”.
I probably have done this before but I’ll do it again: I so recommend the childraising book, Listen, by Patty Wipfler and Tosha Schore.
Let me know what you think!