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Why Kids are Off-Limits


“Pick on somebody your own size!”

I’ve heard that my whole life, and was thinking about it this weekend with all the hubbub over a certain Saturday Night Live writer who wrote an inappropriate tweet about a certain child of the new President.

Inappropriate enough to get her suspended indefinitely.

“What’s the big deal? We pick on his Dad, why can’t we pick on him, too?”

Well, it IS a big deal, and here’s why:  Kids are…

  1. Physically vulnerable: they’re physically smaller and weaker, unable to fight back
    att tbone 10th grade

    Dr Vince knows what it’s like to be awkward

  2. Mentally vulnerable: they don’t quite understand sarcasm yet, can’t tell if you’re joking or not, tend to believe what grown-ups tell them
  3. Emotionally vulnerable: they’re awkward, just learning to use their bodies…especially during puberty/teen years, growth spurts, etc…so they come by it honestly, and to criticize/make fun of who someone is can be damaging for a long time

To be fair, we come by it honestly, too…that is, our Primitive Programming helps us survive—fight or flight. So, if we’re threatened, we fight…but in polite company, we don’t usually fight, so if we want to make a pre-emptive strike, we’ll assert our dominance by making the ‘enemy’ look bad.

But it’s something we are supposed to grow out of. And the grown-ups are supposed to Mentor/Coach the kids on how to do it.

Unfortunately, we don’t seem to have grown up much:  Obummer.   Hitlary.   Dump.

(I see what you did there…)

it’s called “ad hominem”, which is Latin for ‘making fun of the person rather than addressing his/her argument’.

Funny thing is (or not-so-funny), even though we’re grown up, and supposedly have thick skin now, we’re still kids inside… Humans…doing our best to Learn, Grow and Improve. And being harsh toward each other gets our defenses up, puts us back in fight/flight/survival mode and keeps us out of growth mode.

We have a “no sarcasm” rule in our office…because ‘sarcasm’ literally means ‘tearing flesh’. Not the kind of thing we want in a Healing Space.

Why not invoke a ‘no sarcasm’ rule in your Life/Feed…and start protecting your Kids, The Kids…and your own Kid Nature?


Peace (and Kindness)    Dr Vince

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