Baby, There Are Bad People In This World

discipline, toddler, life lessons

My little guy was bit by another kid in daycare the other day. It happened right before pick up and he was pretty sad about it when I got there. Now I know that at 16 months the things I say aren’t going to stick but one phrase that just came out of my mouth when I was trying to comfort him was “baby, there are bad people in this world.”

I was surprised and froze for a second. I didn’t mean that in his situation. What I meant to say was there are people who do bad things… but there are also bad people in this world and likely what I was reflecting on to him was my recent run in with some bad people. Not just bad people who operate in their own sphere but bad people whose bad and selfish/self-serving decisions ruin wonderful things around them.

Just like a baby who doesn’t know any better than to bite their friend when they are in their way, these people in our world lash out and bite us to get their what they want. They only see the next move… I want X so I will do Y to get it. Never mind that Y is biting someone or ruining a phenomenal organization… it gets them THEIR way. If nugget’s little friend had thought, “hey, biting nugget is probably a bad idea because even though I will get the toy he is playing with, I will hurt him and make him sad and earn myself a time out,” it wouldn’t have happened but no, many human beings are wired for short term gratification. Cool, I get my name on a building or a fancy title I didn’t earn… who cares who invested what in creating these things… I get what I want when I want it (NOW)!

It’s funny that all this should come up for me now. I have been reading “The Well-Behaved Child” by John Rosemond and this situation immediately reminded me of something he said in one of his columns.

“Even a toddler knows that he can achieve his objective far more quickly by biting than talking, and instant gratification is their objective.”

Instant gratification is their objective… and, sadly, I am finding it is the objective for many adults too. No one taught these adults that even if you want something NOW, you don’t always get it NOW. But growing up, we are teaching kids (who grow into adults) that they all get rewarded, and not because of their hard world. We focus on dreaming big but now small acts are insignificant. Kids aren’t allowed to fail and now their parents refuse to let their children see THEM fail. Which creates a lovely cycle of entitlement by parent and child. In today’s day and age, everyone is special and the kid’s supposed happiness always has to come first. Not only all of this but in an attempt to right some invisible wrongs, we give our children every comfort available… a thousand pillows so they don’t even feel their fall.

Here’s what I learned from Mr. Rosemond – previous generations were successful because of how they were raised and if we look back at some of those techniques we might find how to raise another generation of successful kids.

Back to my point about bad people. For all the planning and teaching you do for/to/with your child, there will still be bad people in this world and your child will have to deal with them as children and as adults. If we don’t give our kids the tools to handle tiny dictators, how will they learn to handle “benevolent” adult dictators? They won’t. And they will fall when pressured, become “yes” wo/men and find themselves betraying the morals and values you taught them and that they purported to hold dear.

So my point to Nugget stands. There are good people who do bad things and there are bad people in this world. You will not be in either one of those groups if mommy and papa have a say. As a family, we will learn the value of discipline together and when you are faced with the bad people in this world (and you will be), you will be well equipped to deal with them. Their fate rests in their own hands and bad decisions. Don’t let them drag you down.

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