The last few weeks have shocked the United States and its citizens. Not only that, but the whole world is shocked observing how the new POTUS is trying to change the rules of the international politics and the economy as if he were changing the procedures manual inside a family business.
Among the diverse expressions of astonishment, I have seen frequent analogies comparing Donald Trump to a baby or a small kid.
He has been called a “dangerous, petulant child” and a “sleep-deprived toddler,” and his actions have been labeled as “baby tantrums” or “childish.”
Please, stop doing that. And I say this for the sake of children.
No, Trump is not a child, is an adult, who is ― more or less ― aware of his actions and their consequences. Even when sometimes it is hard to believe, behind each decision, declaration and tweet of the new Commander in Chief there is a political strategy. He is looking for a specific reaction among his supporters and detractors. What he does is a deliberated action, whether we like it or not.
On the other side, babies, toddlers and small kids are just learning how to get through this world; they are learning to identify their emotions, to express them, to find the best way to satisfy their needs and to interact with the people and objects around them. That is a hit-and-miss process, of course.
For years, there has been a widespread idea that babies minds are just like an adult’s mind who knows how to manipulate and commit racketeering. This belief ends up reflected in a parenting style that gets defensive toward the kid to avoid their tricks, and therefore promotes discipline through emotional or physical aggression.
This is not how it works; our little ones do not know anything about those complex scams from adulthood. They only know how to express what they want and need, which is mainly physical contact, food, protection, and love.
Those of us who believe in parenting with respect, love, and attachment, are constantly struggling with opinions and parenting approaches that apply negative connotations to a child’s behavior when they are simply on an emotional learning journey. Those comparisons are doing nothing but reinforcing misleading ideas about children.
I have no idea of how little Donald was raised, or if he got enough hugs as a baby, but that would be a different argument. My proposal is that you can call him any adjective that you want ― dangerous, petulant, brilliant or sleep-deprived ― but do that as the adult he is. Please, let’s stop using our little humans to judge a grown-up.