Good vs. Easy. This is something I've fought my entire time as a mom. From the moment I first heard, " Is he a good baby?" And those rude dogs weren't asking if my precious baby was the spawn of Satan. What they really wanted to know was if my baby was easy....ate on a schedule, slept on a schedule, kept quiet. Goo goo'ed and gaga'd, but never really got worked up or had difficulties. It's all well-intentioned, but it also sends the very wrong message.
This may be chaotic to follow, but hang with me on this one.
I love Barenaked Ladies. I'm not ashamed. I'll say it again. I LOVE Barenaked Ladies. Their song, What a Good Boy talks about how we perceive people, from birth, and keep them captive in these perceptions. What if people are perceived as bad, when they're just challenging? When we are challenged as parents, as educators, as neighbors, what is our reaction? Do we sincerely write someone off as bad, simply because they require more of us than we anticipated, or were even willing to give?
Lost at School is one of my favorite books from when my kids were in public school. In it, Dr. Greene discusses challenging kids, disruptive kids, and how schools handle them. His discourse on Positive Behavior Systems (PBS) really made me think about something I had assumed into my thought patterns since I was earning my teaching license. How we reward kids whose natural tendencies are what we deem positive and punish those kids who are naturally disruptive. How we continue to view easy vs. challenging as good vs. bad.