• Dadwagon on Facebook
  • Dadwagon on Twitter
  • Dadwagon RSS feed

What Almost Made Me Cry Today: Bad Kids Edition

July 13th, 2010  |  by  |  Published in What Almost Made Me Cry Today  |  2 Comments

I have to say, this essay went through me like an arrow made of ice and tipped with curare. It might’ve been called “When Bad Children Happen to Good People,” and addresses that thing we all have in the backs of  our minds: What if I do everything right and still raise a horrible person?

We are besotted, culturally, with silver-bullet bad-childhood explanations for everything. (“Someone took his teddy bear away from him, and he’s been trying to get it back ever since.”) I think it comes from too much TV, frankly, because this is a pretty standard third-act-of-a-one-hour-crime-drama revelation. Plus we are all, as discussed here recently, rather taken with pop-Freudian explanations of behavior. But child development is inexact. Some incredibly sensitive and brilliant souls come from ordinary and stable upbringings, and some come from flawed ones, and some come from horrible ones. Some perfectly wonderful parents raise monsters; some awful parents end up with great kids. And some people who are awful in one aspect of their lives are splendid at other ones, sometimes in spite of their upbringing. Consider Bill Clinton: lousy upbringing with alcoholic dad, brilliant guy, epically awful husband, and, by many accounts, a pretty great dad. Or just think of this dad.

The prospect of doing everything right and still having the dice come up badly was, in fact, my only real hesitation about becoming a dad. The image of a nasty little brat being attached to me forever kept me up nights, and still would, if our little guy weren’t so clearly a sunny and sweet person. Yes, something could turn in his little brain someday–but at least, I’m no longer holding my breath. We’re safe till the next developmental stage kicks in… in about six months or so.


Responses

Trackbacks

    Bad Kids: A Rebuttal | DADWAGON
  1. A Week on the Wagon: Overheated Edition | DADWAGON

Leave a Response

tips/suggestions/grievances

Recent Comments

  • Dee: As one of the impressed moms there last night, and also because my kid ate 3 bowls of that bolognese, thanks for...
  • Drew Wallner via Facebook: I’m totally making this when we get back from holiday travel, I even just got a...
  • Matt: Whoops! Just put that back in. The recipe editor has been fired.
  • Ed Lilly: Looks great – thanks for posting! One question – you did not specify putting the meat back into...
  • Maks: I’m against baby yoga for sure, but want to say something regarding that author is a little wild about...

DadWagon Reads!

DadWagon

Do you show this to your kids?

AP Images

An unnamed gunman gestures after shooting the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. Turkish police shot and killed the gunman, Turkish station NTV reported. Russia's ambassador to Turkey has died after being shot in Ankara, according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman. #APPhoto by Burhan Ozbilici

Story developing: http://apne.ws/2hRY0rH

Dec 19th, 2016 7:32pm • No Comments

"They watch their mothers and fathers overdose and die on the bathroom floor. They live without electricity, food or heat when their parents can’t pay the bills. They stop going to school, and learn to steal and forage to meet their basic needs."

The Children of the Opioid Crisis

wsj.com

Left behind by addict parents, tens of thousands of youngsters flood the nation’s foster-care system; grandparents become moms and dads again

Dec 16th, 2016 2:11pm • No Comments

Don't forget the gift receipt(s)!

A Gift for Every Type of Dad (That You Can Buy on Amazon)

nymag.com

Including cricket-flour protein bars, ice-cold beer chillers, and an air fryer that uses hardly any oil.

Dec 9th, 2016 3:27pm • No Comments

As Ryu Spaeth pointed out, the only thing worse than "Papa" is the pronunciation "paPA." PERISH THE THOUGHT.

DadWagon

“I just think ‘dad’ and ‘mom’ are very Saved by the Bell-ish,” said Will Grose, 36, a Brooklyn father of three boys under the age of 5.

Nov 30th, 2016 5:20pm • 1 Comment