No bad boys

I think all parents, like myself, struggle with this.

The Monster in Your Closet

“I’m a bad boy,” my older son mumbled when I snapped at him the dozenth time yesterday morning.

I stopped what I was doing. “Oh, sweetie,” I said, cupping his chin in my hand. “Do you think that because I’m always telling you no, and stop it, and don’t do that to your brother?”

“Yeah,” he whispered, nestling his head into my waist. I stroked his hair, and wondered briefly how I could explain in a way a five-year-old would understand with head and heart why he’s nowhere near being a bad boy.

“I don’t believe in bad boys,” I explained. “There are … actions that aren’t great, sure, but the actions are the problem, not the person. And it’s not even that the actions are bad, usually. They’re more like … unskillful.”

Like me when my words have you believing you’re a bad boy.

Does this look like a bad boy? I don’t see any bad boys here…

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