I have no idea how to start with this one but deep down I feel I gotta write about this sentence people sometimes say about little babies. And the sentence is “What a good girl/boy” and “What a bad girl/boy”.
It might get lost in translation but I will try my best to explain what bothers me. 🙂
I noticed that many people including my friends, grandparents quite often say “What a good girl” when they see my daughter. She is usually happy. She cries only when she is hungry, when she is hot/cold, when she had enough of something, farts are bothering her… Well. normal baby, right?
And as she doesn’t cry almost everybody puts a sticker “A GOOD GIRL” on her forehead. Well, just by how it sounds, it doesn’t make sense.
Do you have an idea where I am going with this?
Once she starts crying she turns into “A BAD GIRL” or “BEING BAD”. Hmm she is not a good girl anymore. What happened to her?
It seems that people see 2 groups of babies.
Group 1 – A good girl/boy
- The baby is QUIET
- The baby DOES NOT CRY
- The baby plays with the given toys. SILENTLY!!!
- The baby has basically NO ISSUES!!!We have a good baby here! Everybody loves good babies cause they do not bother us too much.
Group 2 – A bad girl/boy
- The baby CRIES. A LOT. OR JUST MOANS.
- The baby DOES NOT DO what the parents want it to do, for example going to bed, eating at the right time, stay completely still…
- The baby HAS ISSUES and that is bad. Bad, bad, very bad.
We have a bad baby here! It bothers us. It shows us that something is not quite right with her/him.
Don’t get me wrong. I know that people don’t mean it in a bad way, but there is something evil about these statements. People are so used to this that they don’t even think about it.
The babies don’t know yet how to behave so they don’t know how to “be bad” or “be good”. They just exist, they poop, they pee, the occasionally smile at mommy, daddy or familiar faces they like.
I like to imagine how the parenthood talk would work in a group of people, for example at work. Can you imagine that someone would tell you What a good girl when you finish a task or hear, when you mess up something, What a bad girl?
Right, you would be quite pi**** off I am guessing.
So please let’s at least try to talk to our kids or about our kids with respect, not like as if they were dogs.
AND I MUST SAY THAT DOES NOT MEAN YOU ALLOW THEM TO DO WHATEVER THEY WANT.
Plus… babies cannot understand us now what we say out loud. But remember the kids get older and they will surely understand this “binary system” (you are either bad or good) and they will adapt to it the way they need in order to be loved by their parent. 😉 So, choose your words wisely! It will get back to you, sooner or later.