All children's names are changed.
  1. I was brought up surrounded by babies
  2. The only time I can remember there not being a baby in my life is when I was a baby myself.
  3. So I get it: I'm more accustomed to being with children than a lot of people
  4. However, if there's one thing I can't stand, it's hearing the phrase "bad kid."
  5. No.
  6. Stop right there.
  7. There's no such thing as a bad kid.
  8. In my daycare, I used to have a child named Evan.
  9. A lot of my coworkers warned me when I started that Evan was a "bad kid."
  10. And Evan did have a lot of behavioral issues. He would bite and kick and cuss and hit.
  11. But every day when Evan woke up from his nap, we would make eye contact and his face would light up.
  12. He would run over to me and give me the biggest hug.
  13. Every day he would say "Good morning Ms. Allison! I missed you. I like your hair."
    It was 3pm when he woke up from nap but how can you argue with something so damn cute?
  14. Evan had some really inappropriate behaviors. But Evan was such a good kid.
    I wondered why he acted out? Why was he so precious one on one but so violent in group settings?
  15. And then he came in with a bruise on his face.
    A huge, monster of a bruise from his chin all the way up to his left eyebrow.
  16. That was a Wednesday. Evan had missed school on Monday, and I had missed work on Tuesday. My coworkers said it was even worse then.
  17. Evan was not a bad kid. Evan was given bad behaviors to model.
  18. Lately, the older kids in my school have been into cootie catchers.
    This one is for a wedding but I think you probably get the idea?
  19. My coworker found that one student, Billy, had written some rude words on the inside
  20. "You pee yourself."
    Okay, typical 6 year old boy humor, I guess
  21. "You are ugly."
  22. "You are fat."
  23. "You are black."
  24. Billy is 7 years old. He isn't a racist.
    However, Billy has been raised in a racist household.
  25. Billy is not a bad kid. Billy has been given bad behaviors to model.
  26. Parents, caregivers, and the rest of the village it requires to raise a child, I urge you:
  27. When you see a "bad" child...
  28. Separate the child from their behavior,
  29. And find the cause.
  30. There are no bad children. There are bad models and bad behaviors.
  31. Don't allow a bad model to stand in the way of your love for a child.
  32. Often the kids with these bad models need your unconditional love the most.