Any English teacher worth his salt teaches students to try to get rid of boring words such as “it, stuff, bad, good, pretty and nice.”
And good parenting books do the same. The recommendation is to avoid calling a child “good” or “bad,” because labeling becomes somewhat debilitating. Instead, identify the behavior, and make sure the child knows that their behavior or choices have consequences, postive or negative. When kids hear they are “bad,” they step up, and work on defining themselves through that perspective.
…you know deep within that there are not “good kids” and “bad kids.” Just kids. Kids who have rough days and positive days and sad days and depressed days. You know that your students are capable of dark things and amazing things – every one of them. But when you use the term “good kid,” it makes the assumption that there are bad kids out there. It cheapens the notion of redemption.
I would add there there are not good or bad moms out there either, any more than there are good or bad kids. We are more complicated than that, with inner workings and outside pressures. We are not always rationale or transparent. Even Mother Theresa had critics.