A Few Weeks Ago My Kid Showed Me a Text

A Few Weeks Ago My Kid Showed Me a Text

This was originally published September 16, 2021

A few weeks ago my kid showed me a text exchange they were having with another kid and said something that, as I read it, I could tell they were trying to make the other kid feel bad.

Reading it over I could tell they were doing it because they were annoyed and had their own feelings hurt due to a misunderstanding.

I asked them, “sweetie, were you trying to make that person feel bad?” and explained to them that it’s very normal to want to make others feel bad when we’re upset or annoyed.

They looked like something had clicked for them and they said “Oh yeah, I was doing that. Do you think I should apologize?”

And then they apologized to that person.

I know it’s really hard to accept that all humans are capable of being cruel to each other but it’s impossible to take responsibility for stuff that we can’t even admit about ourselves because we think it’s evidence that we’re a bad person.

Cruelty and meanness are just as human as kindness and compassion and we’re doing ourselves no favors trying to obscure that fact.