Broken Daughters

Picking up the shattered glass of fundamentalism

My quote of the day: Kids are pretty evil.


One of my favourite (cough) authors has done it again. She hit the nail on the head:

“Being a mother of four little kiddos constantly reminds me that foolishness (i.e. sin and selfishness) is bound up in the heart of every child.  There is no “goodness” in them, no matter how cute or sweet they might appear at first glance.  Screaming, whining, demanding, and bullying comes far more naturally to them than sharing, giving, blessing, and serving.”

(read the whole masterpiece here

You know, just when I’m about to accept her as a good-hearted person, one who might be misunderstood (especially by me!), someone who has a good thing in mind when she talks, I read something like this.

Of course kids are screaming and demanding. Especially when they can’t put whatever it is they need into words yet. Of course they are whining. They are new to this scary huge world and need somebody to tell them what’s normal and what’s not. While all of the things she says about children’s behaviour are true, I still think it is a dangerous statement to say that kids have no goodness in them.

I don’t know, I don’t know what to make out of her anymore. It’s so sad that a woman who is fully aware of her influence on young girls and future mothers blurts out statements like that, with no foundation, no explanation, no other comment. It’s plain dangerous. Especially because it’s such a stand-alone statement, you’d be tempted to find a way how get that natural evilness out of your children. And what else could possibly pop up on the large christian internet community than the Pearls and their twisted ideas of training children to be good people?

Yeah, you get the point, why it annoys me so much.


8 thoughts on “My quote of the day: Kids are pretty evil.

  1. This woman is scary. How could she really think that kids are evil by default and only learn to be better when there much older? It’s crazy, and very, very wrong.

  2. We all carry the image of God within us… if that is not goodness, what is? How can she say there is no goodness in them?

  3. At around 8 months, my son started sharing. Whenever he’d pick up a new toy, or be eating something he was really enjoying, he would stop and offer it to me. If it was a toy, he would let me hold it for a little bit, and then take it back. If it was food, he would let me have a bite, and then go back to eating. This behaviour just started happening without any coaching from me.

    So I’m sorry, but this person is nuts. Yes, babies are selfish – they have to be. They are so vulnerable that they don’t have the physical ability to do anything for others, or even to do anything for themselves. They need so much help but have no ability to communicate their needs. But within that framework, they also have a deep need to be loved and for their parents’ approval. Kids want to be pro-social, they want to make their parents happy. So for most kids, all you really have to do as a parent is a) model good behaviour, and this includes not lashing out whenever you don’t get your own way (Libby Anne has written a lot about how childish most forms of “discipline” really are), and b) show them how they can make people happy. Sometimes it doesn’t come naturally and kids will act out, but if you show them how to be friends, show them how to please you, show them how to make you proud, they will do it.

    But I think that the thing that bothers me the most about these sorts of people is that they set parenthood up as a conflict. So when a baby cries, it’s because it wants to disrupt what you’re doing, not because it’s hungry. It sets parents up to interpret everything negatively and to see their children as adversaries.

    Personally, I prefer “gentle parenting” (again, Libby Anne has written a lot about this), which assumes that kids are individuals and part of the family. It calls for parents to respect their children, and to negotiate mutually-satisfying rules rather than just selfishly demanding one-way obedience.

  4. One of the most memorable public tantrums my son threw, was when I denied his request to help me. I’d picked up the dog’s poop (at the park) in my last bag, which wasn’t wholly intact (I found a good corner, but I didn’t have enough to tie a good knot in it), and at 2.5, my son was furious that I would not let him carry the bag to the trash can for me.

    His impulse to help/serve seemed pretty strong to me, just mixed with an age-typical lack of frustration tolerance.

  5. As of Wednesday, I have permanent blue marker all over my nicely painted wall, compliments of my 3-year-old. I woke up to the sound of my big boys viciously fighting over CEREAL this morning (yeah, I know, maybe I should have hauled my lazy carcass out of bed earlier and made them eggs and then there wouldn’t have been a problem). My sweet baby has just started, only last week, throwing his food on the floor and screaming whenever he sees we are eating something different than him (usually something I know he wouldn’t like and would just throw on the floor with the rest of his food anyway). Sometimes my dear, beloved children seem awfully wicked, especially first thing in the morning before my coffee. But then I remember that they are just younger, less mature versions of ME. They have much to learn and so do I. I’m glad we have eachother to learn from.

  6. “mother of four little kiddos”
    She’s having too many children too fast: The kids have to compete for attention, and she has scarcely any to give. That causes that behaviour.

  7. It IS hard to be a parent! It really tests your patience. And sometimes they can be down right mean even when they are a little older and have plenty of words in their vocabulary. But one thing I like to remind myself of is something I read by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka where she says that each undesreable trait is a trait waiting to be matured. Well, she didn’t say that verbatim but that was the gist of what she said 😉 even though it wasn’t a christian book it was more Christlike in it’s approach than a lot of parenting books that call themselves christian. Her wisdom couldn’t help but remind me of the verse that says “train up a child in the way that they should go, *in keeping with their original bent* and when they are older they will not depart from it”. We are all born with personalities, temperments, gifts, and talents. But when kids are little they need guidance to help them use those traits in an honoring way. They don’t use those traits immaturely because they are inherintly evil, they just aren’t born knowing all our little quirks about manners and such and why those even matter.

  8. The smiles on the faces of the two kids are really scary.

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