Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Where do children learn to be mean?

I don't believe that ANY child is born being "bad." IMO -- this is a learned behavior. They might've learned it from a parent, another child, or they might've been bullied at school themselves -- but it seems to me that MEAN children become MEAN adults -- and the cycle continues. When I run across an adult that just seems angry, or mean ... I wonder immediately if they've always been this way -- and if they have "mean" children.
Your thoughts?

Answer Question
 
BaileysMom476

Asked by BaileysMom476 at 12:48 PM on May. 10, 2014 in General Parenting

Level 20 (9,613 Credits)
Answers (25)
  • I don't automatically judge a person or their children based on their actions. They could just be having a bad day. It could just be a hot button issue, could be misunderstood or assumed to be more"mean" than intended, etc. And children don't always turn out mean just because they had a mean streak as kids. Part of growing up involves the learning how to get along with others. Some kids need more help than others in this area, but that doesn't mean they're doomed to be mean adults.

    Often mean children are that way because they have negative examples when it comes to relating to others - either in what they've witnessed or the way they've been treated themselves. This makes it even more important to be a positive influence on a child, instead of meeting "mean" with "mean." They have to learn the appropriate response from somewhere.
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 12:52 PM on May. 10, 2014

  • I think for young kids it's different things. Peer pressure to act in a group, learned behavior from adults or other kids and also just the fact that they are growing and learning every day how to act and treat others. Our brains have a LONG LONG way to when we are young. I think we adults need to understand that a 3 yr old just cannot act like a 10 yr old... an 8 yr old can't act like a 30 yr old...you know?
    charlotsomtimes

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 12:56 PM on May. 10, 2014

  • "Often mean children are that way because they have negative examples when it comes to relating to others - either in what they've witnessed or the way they've been treated themselves."

    agreed.
    BaileysMom476

    Comment by BaileysMom476 (original poster) at 12:58 PM on May. 10, 2014

  • Mean children learn from mean parents, spoiled children learn from spoiled parents, spoiled children often turn into mean children, and spoiled parents are generally the worst parents a child can have. Mean parents have logic, spoiled parents are just narcissists - their kids can't possibly do wrong because they made those children. Eventually, one day, when that child fails to be perfect and they can no longer pretend, the child will be the new target of abuse.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 1:01 PM on May. 10, 2014

  • yes children learn what they live, a child learns from the adults in thier lives more than anyone else I truly believe. An adult who is mean, well while they may have learned it as a child, they know it is wrong! An adult can choose to use childhood as a crutch or turn it around.

    There is NO excuse for a bully adult!
    luvmygrandgirl

    Answer by luvmygrandgirl at 1:01 PM on May. 10, 2014

  • Mean children learn from mean parents, spoiled children learn from spoiled parents, spoiled children often turn into mean children, and spoiled parents are generally the worst parents a child can have. Mean parents have logic, spoiled parents are just narcissists -

    Insightful statement NotPanicking -- so you are saying adult bullies may have been the product of spoiled parents?
    BaileysMom476

    Comment by BaileysMom476 (original poster) at 1:06 PM on May. 10, 2014

  • I don't think it's ever that simple, though. How many parents have done really good jobs and their children still do the opposite of what they've been taught? If parents were the only places children learn things, that'd be one thing. But peers, and other adult/authority figures, etc, have influence as well.
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 1:08 PM on May. 10, 2014

  • Often bullies bully because they have been ill treated - either outright or perceived. Look at the issues we have here on CM, with adult bullies, who feel justification because in their warped minds they've been slighted and any recourse is justified.

    There's a big difference between a child bully and an adult, IMO. Children bully because of lack of development. Adults bully because of character flaws and so forth.
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 1:10 PM on May. 10, 2014

  • "Look at the issues we have here on CM, with adult bullies" -- right bandgeek -- I've witnessed a LOT of adult bullying here on CM -- both from posters AND from those responding -- with a pack mentality.
    BaileysMom476

    Comment by BaileysMom476 (original poster) at 1:24 PM on May. 10, 2014

  • so you are saying adult bullies may have been the product of spoiled parents?

    I don't know what exactly would make someone think denying food to a child (or cheering that behavior on) is a good or intelligent life choice. That's for their therapist to figure out.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 1:36 PM on May. 10, 2014

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.
close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN