Select Page

“There is no such thing as a bad kid.” ~ Dr. Stuart Shanker

This just might be Stuart Shanker’s most famous quote.

And wouldn’t this be something we’d all like to believe. But do we all believe it? Really? 

What about “that” kid? Or “this” kid?

The thing is, if we can truly buy into Dr. Shanker’s declaration it means we’ll see potential good in every child, even those who are, yes, challenging, seemingly “out of control” or just plain hard to like. That’s a very hopeful and positive perspective.

Reframing “Bad” Kids

What Dr. Shanker is really trying to get at is, these challenging kids aren’t “bad”, they’re overstressed. And if we can start thinking about what their stressors are, and what to do about it, we see a different child, not one who is out to drive us crazy, but a child who needs our help. One who can become one of the “good” kids.

Today’s question?

How has this belief — that’s there’s no such thing as a bad kid — changed the way you understand and respond to the children who have challenged you?

In the comments below share your experience and lessons learned about the impact of learning to reframe “difficult” kids as overstressed kids, how it affected your relationship and the difference that made.

Learn more:

Blog: No Such Thing as a Bad Kid

The Self-Reg Show Podcast: No Such Thing As A Bad Kids

Self-Reg Havens 101

Breaking the Stress Cycle