Dangerous Compassions

how people talk shit about their kids

Hello, how are you doing?  It’s always bothered me, how people talk shit about their kids.

cafe example

Ming and I were at a cafe the other day, and I heard an adult stage whispering to another adult, “She’s very high strung.  I try to make her understand how to speak with me.  She’s like a little kid.”

All this was in a hateful tone of voice, like the kid was torturing her relative with tone.  The adult might have been an aunt or some other relative, not necessarily a parent.

The listener refused to engage about the badness of the young person.  The listener kept smiling and changed the subject.

I looked up what high strung means.  I guess I’m high strung!

how people talk shit about their kids

But I prefer anxious, intense, emotional, real.


Does it bother you, how people talk shit about their kids?  I don’t want to hear it.  I feel very sorry for the absent kid who’s harshly judged with no way to defend themselves.  They’re just living their life, being a kid.  Hopefully they’re not trying really hard to perform a certain way.  My wish for every kid is that they could relax and learn.

Is it really as bad at the adult portrays it?  Does the kid really act that way?  If so, how did the kid learn to act that way?  From an adult, perhaps?

What is hurting in that kid, that the kid is acting in a difficult way?  Do your expectations need adjusting?  Does the kid need care that they aren’t getting?


You could try meeting the kid’s needs.  Or you could try enlisting someone else’s help, like a relative, neighbor, or any trusted adult who has resources to give.  Maybe someone other than you could share life with the kid in an enriching way.

  • art lessons
  • therapy
  • dance class
  • tennis
  • skateboarding school
  • drama camp
  • crafts club
  • support group
  • language class
  • volunteering
  • gardening meetup
  • Native skills
  • swimming
  • spiritual practice
  • helping a seaweed person harvest seaweed
  • Food Not Bombs
  • internship

If you don’t like your kid, I’m sorry for you.  There are things you could try, to help the kid make different choices, or at least know other choices are possible.  Diversifying the kid’s adult influences could help.

lookout point second example

Ming and I were at the Ojai lookout point right before sunset, listening to a lady who seemed slightly drunk talk loudly about her kids.  It was a monologue.  Two people were with her, not getting a word in edgewise.

It was depressing, to hear this mom.  She had four kids at least.  One of the boys was “going to amount to something.”  She sound a bit starry eyed, when she talked about him.

The other three kids, she seemed to have very little respect for.  One girl was almost an afterthought, summarized rudely.  “So and so?  She just cries.  She’s out on the field, crying for her dad.”  The criticism of the kids was mostly about how well they played sports.

Sports is a game–who cares.  I guess a lot of people care.  But if I had a kid who cried on the field, wanting her dad, I would try to help her get to her dad.  Fuck games!  What does she actually want?


Our desires are ok.  If we have authentic connection to our actual desires, we’re fine going toward almost anything.  The desires that become problematic are the decoy desires that are being used to hide actual desires.

Porn addiction is a good example of that.  If you want sex, no problem.  Connect and love–that’s what our bodies are for.  If you want sex but can’t be vulnerable and real with actual people, caring in a relationship way, porn is easier for sex in a pretend way.  The risk can feel much lower to use porn, vs connecting in real life with people who feel, need, talk back, notice.

But becoming a porn addict who needs more and more, to the point of life derailment or just yucky feelings, can be a risk too.  Addictions are often trying to bridge a gap or substitute for an authentic thing that is difficult because of trauma or damage.  Right?

I believe in feeling our feelings, needing what we need, and being who we are.  Maybe some kids are born evil?  But mostly we start out ok.  It’s losing ourselves that causes problems.


If your kid is actually abusing you or in some way causing real harm, please criticize and make a change so you’re safer.  Otherwise, in my opinion, a kid should be trusted, supported, liked, helped, believed in, and spoken about kindly.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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