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“I’ve seen hundreds of children and their parents in my professional capacity and have never once seen a “bad” kid. Every single child, when met with understanding and patience, can be guided along a trajectory that leads to a rich and meaningful life. But stereotypes of the “difficult child” too often color our views, as do the dreams, frustrations, and anxieties we suffer as parents. When we impart negative judgments on children, we are just mistakenly shifting blame for our own emotions and insecurities onto our children’s “nature.””

Read Stuart Shanker’s full article for The Greater Good Science Center here.