I have never been able to give a convincing answer to my daughter till date as to why naughty is bad.
Like all children who are naturally inquisitive, she wanted me to clear her confusion on the whole Santa Claus philosophy of brandishing young children as ´Naughty´or ´Nice´ and being selective and discriminatory in the charitable act of gifting.
Now that I stop to think of it, she does have a point. Children are so fragile. Their bodies, minds and spirits are still evolving. How we perceive and think of them will largely make or break their self-esteem!
Forget Santa Claus! He is a pure figment of our imagination. But, doesn’t he represent all of us in some sneaky way or the other? And how we perceive children in general?
Children are a ´work-in-progress´ just like us. I´m sure you will agree, wayyyyyyy more than us! I don’t think children even know the meaning and consequences of being naughty. They just do what they feel they should be doing. Exploring and making sense of the world around them in their own perceived interpretations. And to label such explorations and mishaps or the children themselves as ´Naughty´ is inhuman.
Yes, I agree that children need to be disciplined and taught to be nice. But, I am against the notion of segregating children into ´nice´and ´naughty´ brackets. Even more, the notion that ´naughty´is bad and abominable.
Labelling children as a ´naughty´only damages their self-worth and makes them continue the bad behaviour, often as a sign of rebellion.
Forget children! I was scandalised by the lack of emotional literacy in most teachers at college level while I was a teacher. I agree there were a few and far in-between mature and emotionally literate teachers but the utter lack of maturity in most of them was shocking. There were classes and students who were brandished as ´naughty´and had to be corrected (read suspended) in order for them to be ´nice´. Did it work? Absolutely not! It was a such colossal bloody waste of time and exercise in what could have been a golden opportunity to tread a path less explored but way more effective.
I completely believe in the saying that Ít is nice to be important but it is more important to be nice´. And, I am all for niceties. But, I love and appreciate a healthy dose of naughtiness in everything I do and everywhere I go as well. You need some sweet sugar as well as some total nuts to make your life a real party.
Nice is sweet. Naughty is fun.
And I want children to be a healthy dose of both.
What do you say?