Jul 02, 2022

I was thinking today that I feel so bad for kids because they get judged so quickly. Wherever they go, people judge them based on their behavior in the few minutes they observe them. Even babies aren’t spared from this judgement. We hear all kinds of comments.  “Wow he’s quite the angry young man!”  “She’s so ‘fiesty’.” “He’s not a good listener.” “She’s very stubborn.”  “He’s a very cranky baby!” 

And we see these behaviors from children because they’re so real all the time. They have no masks. They are who they are wherever they are. They wear their emotions on their sleeves and haven’t learned emotional regulation yet. We, on the other hand, have a 100 different faces, depending on who we’re with. Do you think that there are people you’ve known for years and they wouldn’t recognize you if they saw you in another, more real, moment? Would you be comfortable expressing strong emotions, for example, in front of your boss? Your neighbor? The salesmen at the store?

Well, kids ARE comfortable. They’re so comfortable in their skin. It hasn’t occurred to them yet that they should filter themselves, and their brain is not capable of comprehending this nuance. That’s THEIR normal. Just like it’s OUR normal to regulate ourselves in public. 

Why do we make children and their parents feel judged for something that’s normal and developmentally appropriate? I hope next time you see a child “acting out” in public, you’ll remember to give them grace. And understand that they’re just having a hard time. Just like we do, sometimes. We have the luxury of having our weak moments in the privacy of our safe spaces, they don’t. That’s the only difference. Otherwise, we, fully grown adults, can be JUST as ‘angry’, ‘feisty’, ‘cranky’ and ‘stubborn’! But that doesn’t define us, and it shouldn’t define our children