Science is still on the fence about whether or not kids are born douchy, but however they get that way, the fact is that some kids are assholes. According to the nature side of the argument, douchbag DNA will create jerky little kids who will grow up to be full-blown asshole adults one day. On the nurture side of the argument, scientists says that kids are born neither well-adjusted nor full of anger and malevolence, but rather learn these traits from their role models. Of course, most people believe that there is a balance between nurture and nature; that our DNA accounts for some of our tendencies to be horrible to others, while our parents are at least a bit responsible for teaching us to be jerks. Here’s how it happens.
How Nature Turns Kids into Assholes
It’s simple really, though the exact genetic sequence that transforms a person from Bruce Banner into the Hulk has not been identified. According to the nature side of the argument, if you take two parents with asshole in their DNA and there’s a good chance any offspring they create together will turn out that way too, no matter how expensive the therapy.
So if nature is really to blame for, well, all this, is there anything we can do? Yes. We just need to convince (coerce?) non-douchbag people to breed more frequently and douchbags to get snipped, since we all know they won’t wear condoms.
How Nurture Turns Kids into Assholes
|Really, though, she's made the best choice she could have, considering.|
There’s a prevailing myth in our society that kids who bully other kids are really scared and vulnerable inside; that their self-esteem and self-worth are so low that they have to rob these qualities from other kids (along with their allowance so they can stuff their faces full of Hostess apple pies and watermelon flavored Airheads). On the contrary. Studies have shown that, for the most part, bullies actually have high or at least average self-esteem. They think they’re great and therefore they have the right to dominate and terrorize others. How did they get these inflated egos? Mostly through their parents who tell them how wonderful they are, even in the face of insurmountable evidence to the contrary.
So how do we keep nurturing, loving parents from raising yet another generation of Jersey Shore? It’ll take hours of parenting classes and a paradigm shift that prevents well-meaning kindergarden teachers from telling little Johnny that his painting is the most beautiful painting in the world (because, let’s face it, that’s just a flat-out lie), but it can be done. Kids need honest feedback about how they behave and how great, or how lousy, they are at tasks. This doesn’t mean they need to get slammed by the cold hard facts, but a genuine complement or a kind suggestion of how to improve goes a long way. Kids don’t actually need to hear that they’re fantastic at every turn. They need to hear that they have strengths they can foster into talents and weaknesses they can work out.
Perhaps we need to start an anti-jerk movement, a movement in which we kindly, calmly and rationally explain to assholes that they’re assholes. You know, I kind of like that idea. I’m gonna get on that.
Never mind. Bad call.