Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Children - between cruelty and honesty

A lot of people say that children can be extremely cruel. Indeed, it is a terrible thing when children are bullying one another. Often there is one child that is “different” and therefore it is being bullied. I think these bullies don’t even know what harm they inflict upon their victim. These children may be marked for the rest of their lives.  
But who should we blame? Is it the parents’ fault, because they have failed in their education? Is it society’s fault? Or is there no one else to blame but the children?

I do not know the answer to that question.

At the same time, children are usually such honest little beings. I have assisted as a coach for some years and I have made so many wonderful experiences there. You soon learn that you are not only the children’s coach, but also their attachment figure, their role model, their friend and sometimes even their psychologist. They tell you about school, their family, their friends, their problems and what makes them happy. It is amazing how much responsibility you already have for them, although just seeing them at most once or twice a week for two hours.
Of course, you need to keep some distance though.

Even their parents talk to you about their children’s problems and want some advice. Considering that I am not a mother and that I had so many problems with my own family, it was actually a strange thing to do.
Do you know that big, sincere happy smile that only a child can give you? And do you know these things only children seem to recognize? There were actually two children that told me I had pretty teeth. Who looks at the teeth of another person? Moreover, I think my teeth are just very ordinary. But it made me laugh, it was such a sweet compliment. I particularly appreciate compliments from children, because they usually just say what they see and you can be sure that they don’t tell you because they expect something in return.

I moved away from my home town a year ago, so I wasn’t able to coach them anymore. I had to promise to visit them regularly and one little girl even cried. It touched my heart, they were so sweet.
Can there be anything more heart-warming than little children that are all excited and happy, just because you visit them? They are lovely little creatures.

Anyway, what I wanted to get at is that children are often so much more honest than adults. But at the same time they can be so cruel. But are they really? Aren’t adults crueler sometimes? There are so much terrible things in this world that only adults are able to commit. Children are extremely straightforward and just tell what is in their mind, which can be a good but also a bad thing. In contrast, adults can be very furtive, which isn’t a good thing either, or is it worse?

On the other hand, when I don’t like someone I try to avoid him but not to bully him. That is maybe something that only adults do.

So are they cruel or just honest? Or are they both? And what about us? Are we better, after all?


  1. I don't really know whether children are cruel or not but I think it depends a lot on what situations. They might be rebellious when they can't get what they want, or they might get mad when they aren't given equal attention or love. Let's say when they are bullied, for sure they'll fight back. The same thing would happen among us adults. Whatever happens, there are reasons behind it. We retaliate when we think others are doing wrong towards us.

    One thing we learn from children is their honesty. You have mentioned it and I agree. Children mean what they say. In your case, they complimented your teeth. Though they are ordinary as you said but children saw the beauty in it. They are so sincere and honest.

    We were children once and I can't recall lying to anyone because I didn't want my nose to grow long like Pinocchio's!

    Another nice post, Kleopatra. I enjoy it. :)

    1. Of course they might get rebellious when they don't get what they want, but I think that is totally different from being cruel. I also think the intention of children is usually not cruel, whereas some adults know about the cruelty of their deeds, so maybe that is the difference.

      I love the honesty of children and I love their ability to be happy about so many little things that adults don't even recognize. As you said, they see the beauty behind ordinary things.

      That is so cute about you not lying because you didn't want your nose to grow like Pinocchio's. :)

      Thank you! I really enjoy your comments! :)

  2. nice blog checkout my blog at


    feel free to leave a comment

    1. Thank you, I will have a look at it.

  3. Anonymous13/9/12 17:56

    This is a field where I have no experience!

    I've seen the bullying kind of child interact with their environment.
    Also the shy, and withdrawn children
    and even autistic children once or twice.

    But I cannot correlate their behaviour to anything I recognise or know.

    What I have heard from the professional field, is just that, knowledge from hearing
    not living the situation.

    Most therapists I heard about these disorders blame the home atmosphere and parents activity.

    The trend was to explain the wrong behaviour to external causes more than to the possibility of putting the source of cause in children themselves. They speak of "learned behaviour", from family or social rank.

    I rely on your experience and really believe that even if children can be very cruel, they are honest in their intent, at least until they learn to hide their feelings, and actions.

    I guess this is an expert's field that even some parents never thought about.

    This is what I know, pretty boring, since I cannot make use of anything but heard knowledge! :)

    Anyway, it is a very interesting subject, important to the development of society as a whole.

    Thank you, K.

    1. Never mind about telling things you just heard, I appreciate every opinion. :)

      I am not a therapist and I don't have children on my own, all I can tell is my humble experience, but I do not know if anything of this is right! I agree very much that home atmosphere and parents activity are very important. But nonetheless I don't fully understand it... I was a very shy child and my brother was always completely different from that, but we have the same parents, obviously, as he is my brother.

      During my time as a coach there was a "difficult" child and later I learnt it has had a very difficult situation at home...

      I think parents should think more about it, it's so important, they have such a great impact on their children. As I have said, I already had a huge influence on the children I coached and I did not see them often... So how huge must then be a mother's influence.

      Thank you for your input. :)