The idea that children in miserable, chaotic living arrangements need that unhealthy reality beamed at them from every book and cartoon is deeply misguided. Children aren’t stupid. They know when they are unhappy. “Validating” dysfunction won’t trick them, even if it does make some narcissistic adults feel momentarily soothed.

3 thoughts on “Invalid

  1. I agree with this. People need hope and a path to a better life. Most people trapped in subpar circumstances don’t get out because they don’t see a way out. No one around them has been able to get out, they may even sabotage he kid’s attempts to break free. They don’t tales of entrapment; they need tales of hope and success and belief in their own strength.

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  2. My childhood home was not the worst out there by far, but it was very stressful. Whenever I encountered a book that even tried to be “realistic” about dysfunctional family situations… it went back to the shelf unread. And I read a tremendous number of books! Just not those books. Had enough of that at home, thankyouverymuch. I had a thing for fairy tales: in fairy tales, the danger is real, but the characters are all heroes or heroines: virtuous, clever, strong. I needed a lot of reassurance that being polite and kind gets you help, that hard things are worth doing, and that no matter how grim the situation looks or how low your station appears, you win by doing the right thing. That’s more important than anything else.

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