Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • They do their homework on time. Their writing is neat. They keep their bedroom tidy. They

  • are often a little shy. They want to help their parents. They use their brakes when

  • cycling down a hill. Because they don't pose many immediate problems, we tend to assume

  • all is well with good children. They aren't the target for particular concern. That goes

  • to the kids who are graffiting the underpass. People imagine the good children are fine,

  • because they do everything that's expected of them. And that, of course, is precisely

  • the problem. The secret sorrowsand future difficultiesof the good boy or girl begin

  • with their inner need for excessive compliance. The good child isn't good because by a quirk

  • of nature they simply have no inclination to be anything else. They are good because

  • they have no other option. Their goodness is a necessity rather than a choice. Many

  • good children are good out of love of a depressed harassed parent who makes it clear they just

  • couldn't cope with any more complications or difficulties. Or maybe they are very good

  • to soothe a violently angry parent who could become catastrophically frightening at any

  • sign of less than perfect conduct.

  • But this sort of repression of more challenging emotions, though it produces short-term pleasant obedience,

  • stores up a huge amount of difficulty in later life. Practiced educators and parents should

  • spot signs of exaggerated politenessand treat it as the grave danger it really is. The good

  • child becomes a keeper of too many secrets and an appalling communicator of unpopular

  • but important things. They say lovely words, they are experts in satisfying the expectations

  • of their audiences, but their real thoughts and feelings stay buried and then generate

  • psychosomatic symptoms, twitches, sudden outbursts and sulphurous bitterness. The sickness of

  • the good child is that they have no experience of other people being able to tolerate their

  • badness. They have missed out a vital privilege accorded to the healthy child; that of being

  • able to display envious, greedy, ego-maniacal sides and yet be tolerated and loved nevertheless.

  • The good person typically has particular problems around sex. As a child, they may have been

  • praised for being pure and innocent. As they become an adult however, like all of us, they

  • discover the ecstasies of sex, which can be beautifully perverse and excitingly disgusting.

  • But this may be radically at odds with the picture of what they believe they are allowed

  • to be like. They may in response disavow their desires, go cold and detached from their bodies

  • or perhaps give in to their longings only in a disproportionate way that is destructive

  • to other bits of their lives and leaves them disgusted and frightened. At work, the good

  • adult has problems too. As a child, they follow the rules. Never make trouble and take care

  • not to annoy anyone. But following the rules won't get you very far in adult life. Almost

  • everything that's interesting, worth doing or important will meet with a degree of opposition.

  • A brilliant idea will always disappoint certain peopleand yet very much be worth holding

  • on to. The good child is condemned to career mediocrity and sterile people-pleasing. Being

  • properly mature involves a frank, unfrightened relationship with one's own darksides, complexity

  • and ambition. It involves accepting that not everything that makes us happy will please

  • others or be honored as especially "nice" by societybut that it can be important

  • to explore and hold on to it nevertheless. The desire to be good is one of the loveliest

  • things in the world, but in order to have a genuinely good life, we may sometimes need

  • to be, by the standards of the good child, fruitfully and bravely bad.

  • We love bringing you these films, if you want to help us to keep bringing you thoughtful content,

  • please consider supporting us by visiting our shop at the link on your screen now.

They do their homework on time. Their writing is neat. They keep their bedroom tidy. They

Subtitles and vocabulary

Click the word to look it up Click the word to find further inforamtion about it

B1 UK child adult involves parent mediocrity bringing

The Dangers of the Good Child

  • 13198 1317
    Anita Lin posted on 2017/05/30
Video vocabulary