And when I was born, they looked at me and said,
“What a good boy, what a smart boy, what a strong boy.”
When you were born, they looked at you and said,
“What a good girl, what a smart girl, what a pretty girl.”
(Read more: Barenaked Ladies – What A Good Boy Lyrics | MetroLyrics )
Good Girls Good Girls Good Girls Good Girls Good Girls Good Girls Good Girls Good Girls Good Girls Good Girls Good Girls Good Good Girl.
I didn’t wanna be a good girl but my brother died before I was born and I needed to be everything my parents lost.
I couldn’t be too risky, because I needed to stay alive. I couldn’t make bad choices, because I needed to make my parents happy, not even sadder.
I needed to live past 10.
I knew my role and played my part.
The burden of being good is that the longer you’re ‘good’, the more your bad behavior is intolerable.
You’re held to a different standard.
Another problem with being ‘good’ is that you’re probably too nice and you WILL get walked all over.
If you’re always good, you lose your ability to express yourself freely.
You just smile.
What is ‘good’, anyways? Everyone’s idea will be different.
And meeting everyone’s expectations will be exhausting!
We teach our children to be ‘good’ without even realizing the intangible pressure it’s putting on them, to strive for an unreachable touchstone. It just never ends.
I tell my son, ‘Alistair, you’re doing a good job coloring,’ but what I really mean is, ‘Alistair, you’re sitting nicely and focusing on your coloring page,’ and that’s what I try to remember to say. Because ‘good’ isn’t something you can quantify.
‘You’re such a good boy,’ is something I tell my dog and my son asks ‘Am I good boy, too?’
I don’t want him to grow up thinking he needs to be or should be a good boy.
My parents didn’t tell me I had to be good….it was something I was genetically disposed to do, to please them and others. And the more I got told I was ‘good’, the more I tried to do it. Positive reinforcement works.
But I feel like I cannot get that label off my forehead. I’ve tried to rebel, I really have, and I’m not good at it. I try to be mean and I just languish over it for days. I try to care less about things, but cares just creep back up on me. I’ve tried scrub that label off for much of my adult life, but it’s sticking.
And this is my reminder to myself to keep any and all labels off of my son during these formative years.