You know THAT kid.
The one who says sh!t that hurts your kid’s feelings.
It’s so hard to understand mean behavior.
Especially when your kid gets blasted in the crossfire.
I mean…we don’t want to think of the mean kid as an actual child.
It comes so much easier to think of that 9 year old as a little sociopath.
We go to all sorts of places in our mind that no mature adult wants to admit.
It’s like that scene in This Is 40 when Leslie Mann tells off Melissa McCarthy’s 12 yr old son for cyber bullying her daughter.
I loved that scene. I’ve dreamt of that scene many times.
When some kid tells my son he sucks at soccer. Or when my daughter gets the shaft from a friend that no longer thinks she’s cool this week.
I wanna give those little turds a piece of my mind the way Leslie did.
But when I calm the eff down and get back into my thinking brain, I remember all the things.
The theories backed by science and child development research that I’ve learned over the last 20 years.
“Kids do well if they can.” ~Dr. Ross Greene
Mean kids that hurt other kids, feel hurt inside themselves.
As I’ve told my kids time and time again…happy people don’t spread misery.
Mean behavior is a sign of inner misery.
Someone in pain.
Knowing this helps take mean behavior impersonally.
And eventually compassion takes over.
You gotta be pretty self aware and frankly, healthy, to find compassion for someone that behaves like an a-hole towards you.
This goes for parents too.
When we learn to see “mean” or strong willed behavior in our kids as their inner reflection rather than making it about us…
Empathy and healing happen.
This. Is. The. Solution.