straight up tho the condition of Being A Child is absolutely fucking unbearable

like, you just have 0 autonomy. People won't believe that you have thoughts and feelings because you either don't have the vocabulary to describe what's in your head or they willfully ignore it because you're "being dramatic". Everyone older than you is convinced that they know more about your emotions than you do and that you'll "grow out" of things, everyone your age is mean to you, and everyone younger than you is hitting you in the shins with whiffle ball bats

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people want to "teach you discipline" by forcing you to do things you hate, and then when you "act up" and explain that you hate the things they're forcing you to do, they force you to do more of it to teach you more discipline
and when you start developing "behavioral problems" because you're becoming posessive over the smallest fractions of autonomy you can claim for yourself, you get disciplined even more

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treat kids like people
"bratty", "difficult" kids are bratty and difficult because they're clinging to the tiny tiny things that they can control like what they wear and what they eat because they have 0 control of anything else in their life because you've taken all of it from them
they have no power to change the way they're living and no legitimacy with which to ask people for respect because kids are afforded 0 dignity

be nice to kids

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like no matter how "difficult" a kid is being, just,,, treat them like an adult.
It's easy.
You do it all the time with the adults you know. If they're having a bad day, be there for them like if you had a friend who was having a bad day. No "you'll grow out of it", no "stop whining", that's a super mean thing to say to a person. When they say that a day is the worst day of their life, they mean it, because they've only had like 4 bad days.

Let Kids Have Some Goddamn Dignity

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@wgahnagl Teenagers are angsty because that's the stage in life where everyone starts taking control from them en masse again.

But this time they can actually talk back.

@norikawa this, for real lmao
it's so easy to figure out

like Maybe if you didn't spend their whole childhood belittling their issues as things they'll grow out of, maybe they would've processed those things when they were relevant and wouldn't be coming to terms with them Now, as a ridiculously angry and emotionally stunted teenager, and you wouldn't want to take their autonomy away again using your fear of them hurting themselves as a justification for your controlling behavior

@wgahnagl For a long time I could never understand why kids seem to like me until I saw how other people, even their own parents, will treat them. It’s fucked up frankly how common and seemingly socially acceptable it is and I think it says a lot about a person how they treat kids

@jordyd yeah ???? it's so wild, I've hanging out with my GF's little sister this week and she's been talking about all this shit she has to put up with and I can't stop thinking about how fucked up it is.

shit that now, as an adult, I wouldn't put up with Ever, but I remember having to deal with when I was a kid

like all she wants is people to Be Nice To Her
everyone looks at her like a troublemaker child but like
what the fuck do you expect when you afford someone absolutely no dignity

emotional abuse 

emotional abuse 

@wgahnagl @flootist IRL example, my ex's baby cousin was considered a bad kid because he always acted out, but it was for attention since both his parents worked multiple jobs and he was cared for by ancient grandparents who couldn't play with him in the way kids need. I'd pay him attention respectfully and then invite him to play. Kid nearly froze because most adults only paid attention to him when he was misbehaving

@redjoker @flootist like straight up that makes me so fucking sad
working and having kids must be so fucking hard on everyone, nobody should have to live like that
hug every kid unionize every adult

@wgahnagl The condition of childhood is that they can not be treated as adults. When they can be, they are no longer children.

@pnathan but right like they totally can be treated the way you treat adults which is "with respect"
they're just people who aren't smart yet it's not like when you turn 18 you flip a switch and earn dignity, you should have it the whole time because you're a person

@wgahnagl fo sure, 18 y/o has nothing to do with it...

ugh so I'm trying to think of how to say this works. a little child is not smart. they are not even per se kind. or good. or bad. or mean. you could call a little child "insane" if you were mapping onto an adult.

it's like this world of potential. and parent has to feed them, cloth them, and wipe their butt.

you can't treat them like an adult. you can't respect them like an adult. it does disservice to the child. it isn't appropriate.

@wgahnagl what I see is a lot of parents never actually shake their approach re their kid as this < 8 year old. So things break down.

"treat kids at their level" is a common advice. "age appropriate" is another popular catch phrase.

Ultimately thought being a kid, specially a little one, is flat awful. NOTHING makes sense, because you don't have the context to understand it. Total lack of control of your life for years and years and years.

@wgahnagl I've been thinking about your thread & response for the last few days.

There's not a good answer to the problems you pose, the condition of childhood is ignorance and not getting it. IMO. Parental response should be socially appropriate, with love and care. But often parents don't get it, because children change, and it catches parents off guard and things are being renegotiated constantly, daily sometimes.

@wgahnagl anyway I'm reading a book which leads off essentially addressing the pain you express in your original post series. "Don't brush kids feelings off"

@pnathan I think the real important difference is expecting a child to act like an adult and treating them the way you would treat an adult.
children are never going to act like adults and nobody should expect that of them, but when adults act like children, people tend to be more forgiving of them than they would be of children acting like children
and it's also that people like to not explain things to kids. like "we'll do it this way because I said so" +

@pnathan is something you would never say to an adult because you have respect for them that isn't always awarded to children.
It's so easy to get along with kids if you involve them in decision making processes and explain to them your reasoning why you want to do things a certain way, and give them the flexibility to try things out for themselves, even if it's stupid, because adults do that all the time but are awarded a patience and grace that kids rarely get couldn't agree more! 👏 This is what I try to be super aware up raising my now 2yo.

@nuhn !!!! a babie!!!!!! that is super good!!!! put cool sunglasses on your cool baby give them a kis babies are so good I am their #1 fan
ur baby is going to be so kind and strong and stylish, I just know it 🔥🔥🔥 😄 you are sweet, but I don't think 2 years is a baby any more 😄 He talks about his thoughts and emotions and it's so adorable.

But we've always tried to see him as a person, even as a baby.

@nuhn tbh in my eyes everyone under like 14 is baby lmao

I love that though when tiny kids start talking about their thoughts and feelings it is THE most interesting thing in the world, I am the #1 fan of getting into deep conversations with babies, they've got fascinating takes.
2 is so powerful tho tbh I don't know how fast kids grow up but I've heard Big Things happen when you're 2
Godspeed lol

@wgahnagl i've always considere de myself not good with kids but kids seem to like me and i figured out over time it's because i just... try to talk with them like a normal person

i was a super isolated only child so i never had much experience with kids even when i was also a kid

but i remember how much i hated it when adults talked down to me

@wgahnagl i feel this thread so hard i was a smart kid with big feelings and nobody took me seriously when i was miserable lol

ugh rough shit rough shit
I was a smart kid who had big feelings and then got yelled at for having them, and that made me so anxious that I learned to Fully Diassociate whenever I felt anything and then had to relearn how to feel joy when I turned 19 lol
vibing for 3 years strong tho lmaoo
I can't imagine how any kid grows up normal like this tho, kids are good someone should try to figure out how to be nice to them or something


It's particularly interesting how bad adults are at using reinforcement. I often see adults thinking they can't reward kids because they want them to do a thing (like schoolwork) because they should, and not because of the reward.

The math in the kid's head:
Option A- do a thing I hate, and get nothing, except probably having to do more things I hate.
Option B- do fuck all and daydream until they give up asking me to do stuff I hate.

@wgahnagl This is probably one of the reasons why I enjoyed Scouting so much. People didn't treat us as kids, just normal.

@wgahnagl "no we know you better than you know yourself" makes no sense whatsoever... yet it's how unfortunately many people think

@wgahnagl i bless this thread with hollering and dancing. as a babysitter and as a girl with authoritarian parents. thank you ugh yes

@wgahnagl it genuinely makes me so fucking angry to think about how you apparently have to go around the sun 18 fuckdamned times to age out of being fucking PROPERTY

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