Why do we praise children for being ‘good’?

Not to them but to one another?

“Your boy was so good today”, or

“we loved having him, he was so good”.

What are we saying when we don’t say they were good?

That they were bad?

And what is the definition of good anyway,

and whose definition are our children working to?

How can you measure something you do not, or cannot, define?

Good teaches us nothing.

Good teaches us to toe the party line.

Good teaches us that we must fit in with other peoples expectations of us, even if we don’t know what these expectations are.

Don’t tell me or anyone else our children have been good or are welcome because they are good. It’s too vague and the opposite connotations heartbreakingly negative.

Talk about exactly what it is they’ve done to impress you.

Did they listen?

Were they attentive?

Did they follow all your instructions?

Were they helpful today?


It’s just a lazy way of saying “I approve of you”

And not saying it

“I don’t”