“There is no such thins as a ‘bad kid’ - just angry, hurt, tired, scared, confused, 
impulsive ones expressing their feelings and needs the only way they know how. We owe 
it to every single one of them to always remember that.”

- Educator Jessica Stephens<!--more-->


“They are not giving you a hard time.  They are having a hard time.”

These comments are the sort mocked by libertarians and alt-rightists, as “coddling delinquints” and “not bothering to discipline future criminals”.

Hear me out. I’m not the one saying that. Stephens, like other educators who are committed to helping children become the best (and happiest) people they can be, is leaving unsaid the part that seems obvious to anyone who is not libertarian or alt-right: the fact that kids are angry, hurt, tired, scared, confused or impulsive; the fact that kids are having a hard time; means that adults have an obligation to address the wrongs that they are angry about, to heal their hurts, to give them rest, to protect them from what scares them, to provide information that clears up their confusion, and to give them the skills to control their impulses.

It’s the job of adults to help kids through the hard times; to teach them the skills and give them resources to make the next hard times a little easier.

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