1. “If he’s mean to you he likes you.” It just teaches little girls (mostly girls) to expect violence from people who love them.
2. That failure is bad. Failing should not be considered as an obstacle but a step in the learning process. Demonizing the failure and stigma associated with it makes many children lose their interest once they fail.
3. “No backtalk.” Many adults use it as “you’re not allowed to challenge what I have to say.” Makes sense if it’s a cranky toddler being negative for negativity’s sake, but suddenly older children can’t question things or raise valid points of their own.
4. That complaining is the same as not being grateful. Can’t count the number of times growing up when adults basically told me to shut up whenever I was complaining about something and that I should be grateful that I was born where I was. Like sure, I’m glad I wasn’t born into some starving family, but that doesn’t mean everything is perfect over here and that we shouldn’t try to improve things here as well.
5. No is a ‘bad’ word. It’s a strong word but not a bad one.
6. Going too far on the “find your dream job and it’ll never feel like work” stuff.
Really messed me up when I wasn’t “excited” about uni assignments and thought I had to change degrees.
7. Being wrong is bad. That’s why many people don’t change their mind when they were given trustable sources, they don’t want to be wrong.
8. “Ignore bullies and they’ll leave you alone.”
When you do that, one of two things are likely to happen. Either they’ll mess with you more, or they’ll move to someone else and bully them.
If you stand up to bullies, they back down. The earlier in life you put these people in their place, the less likely they’ll develop their bad behavior as a lifelong practice.
9. Adults are always right. I’m an adult and I’m wrong all the time. Part of being better every day is admitting to mistakes and then doing your best to fixing them. Doing that is how you build trust and respect. No one trusts or respects a liar or someone who isn’t strong enough to grow.
10. Boys should always be tough. Strength is multi-faceted and part of being strong is being tough enough to face how you feel and engage with it honestly.
11. Mental health doesn’t matter. Mentally healthy children learn, behave, and progress better, faster, and more thoroughly. Mental health absolutely matters and should be a priority in the way be teach and raise children.
12. No “telling tails” or “snitching.” Like how many kids are abused or bullied and won’t come forward because of this?
13. Bullying is due to insecurity, hidden feelings, etc. Sure, sometimes. But regardless of the reason, bullying is not a healthy response or action. The victim is not obligated to give you a pass whatever the motivation.
14. Smart is bad/uppity/bougie/lame. Nope. Just not true.
15. That everybody is a winner. No. Losing and disappointments are part of life and they are integral to your growth both emotionally and socially. We have a lot of people who enter the real world who have been told they are deserving of things just because and cannot take rejections and losses in their personal and professional lives with any grace whatsoever. This is also resulting in mediocrity being accepted as a norm cos nobody wants to call out ineptitude. While the hard work and dedication being put in by people who do end up in good positions are being played down. It’s a little harsh but it’s true. Kids gotta learn how to lose before they can truly start to win. That’s the only way being gracious in victory will ever come about.
16. Boys don’t cry. Let the damn boys cry.
17. Finishing your plate – you should eat until you’re full, not until there is no more food on your plate.
18. Love comes in the form of material possessions. Nope. We then tall about the many ways people show and give their love and affection. We also talk about appropriate boundaries.
19. School grades determine worth.
20. Anyone else’s gender/orientation/sex has anything to do with you. It doesn’t.
21. Abstinence only sex education. This is more of what they’re not being taught. Proper sex education is important.
22. School is the only way to be successful and college is a requirement.
23. Telling the kids all their problems will magically go away in time, without them doing anything.
24. “Respect your elders.” Respect must be deserved, not expected.
25. Doing the right thing will sometimes make others hate you. Be prepared for that.