This blog has been created to discuss the topics covered in my book : Beyond Discouragement-Creativity.
My goal is to post relevant news articles which both reflect and refute my opinions and observations. As a visitor, your comments would be most appreciated. - Bienvenue. À vous la parole.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Same Old, Same Old

I've skipped a few weeks of reading and reporting on pertinent news items. Sadly, things haven't changed. (dreamer that I am) The ill health of individuals and family life are still in the forefront of daily news items. Same old, same old. . .  This week an article in Le Droit newspaper had as a title: "Une surveillance à l'américaine". Loosely translated : "Surveillance, American Style". That's a rather arrogant title, since parenting styles in Canada are not much different than those in the UK, the US and Australia - i.e.: Each "style" is on rather shaky ground sanity wise. Nonetheless, this particular article presents us with a fait accompli : i.e.: a nursery in Gatineau Québec has installed a full time surveillance system. All adults working in this environment and children in care. . .  will be videod at all times. . . Parents can "visit" virtually their children, at any time. I wonder whether this plan of action is based on a real fear of staffers being "not kosher" around kids or whether the plan is to satisfy the hovering needs of contemporary parents. Either way, it feels sick. . .  Certainly not something a healthy child would agree to. . . having his or her every "picking of nose goo" and elbow scratch recorded. Bizarre behaviours we "normal" adults consider to be . . .  normal. . .

On another note - another article which does not say anything new but emphasizes how drastic an old situation has become : "Will Young Men Ever Grow Up?"

This article in the Ottawa Citizen (July 4, 2011) mentions the problem of boys not really wanting to become men anymore. Patricia Cayo Sexton reported in the 60s (in her book : The Feminized Male) that schools were detrimental to the physical, mental and emotional health of boys. North America's reaction to her research findings? Nothing. Why bother. If little boys can't sit still for a few hours every day being bored into a stupor than  there's something wrong with them - not the system. And so, the encouraged lowest common denominatior life styles males embrace today shouldn't be a surprise. Life without passion has become the norm. Living at home, having their laundry done by Mom and being fed like wingless chicks who refuse to leave the nest - (while feeling entitled to all manner of their freeby lifestyles) - is now the norm. . . Between 1981 and 2006, the numbers of males living at home - and failing to embrace "growing up"  - between 20 and 29 have risen from 27 % to 43.5%. . . There's literally nothing out there to excite men to become men - to take on the world, to get excited about possibilities. So they might as well stay home and remain the boys they have always been. Why bother with growing up? It's been disappointing to be male all this while anyway. . .  Why  would it suddenly change? So. . . "Who gives a damn about tomorrow."

But then. . .  There's always the encouraging article filled with discouraging data. . .  "Go Outside and Play" is a new mantrra that doesn't seem to be catching on. It simply isn't being stated with much enthusiasm. School days are shorter and that means no time for recesses of any consequence. Parents have been taught that there are strangers around every tree - so children can't go out and play "safely".

An article witht that exact title : Go Out And Play appeared in the Globe and Mail (July 4). It announces to the world that children have a hard time playing. . .  They don't know how. . .  My reaction : So what's new?. . .   Children haven't been allowed to play on their own for the past decade. Organized sports, where there are some, are so adult oriented in content and goals, they fail to meet the creative pursuits of healthy children. The results? Unhealthy children in mind and body and "willingness" to achieve or even attempt anything on their own. And so, "specialists"  (they're always there. . . . ) are finally coming to an umpteenth conclusion. . .  Maybe they should slack off and let children be children. Hmmmmmm. Isn't it amazing how an intelligent conclusion always crops up after so much time and energy has been spent ruining good child lives for generations - a period which can only be judged as abusive and neglectful? Well, I guess we can do what we always do when we don't want to accept responsibility for having caused so much pain and damaged so many lives. . . We can simply chalk up those children unable to do anything on their own as "collateral damage". . . .

Sorry to be so cynical, but I don't see anything moving forward at any healthy pace which might be of service to present generations of children and adolescents. 

On a more positive note: I've decided to congratulate parents whenever I can - wherever I am - when I see them "allow" their children to grow and become "individuals" rather than clones of the world. I am doing this in shops and grocery stores and even on the street. I simply step up and tell these parents how wonderful they are doing as parents. - for allowing their children to become the best that they can be. . .  without hovering and constant reprimands to "be careful". I can tell you. There are some surprised and even blushing looks when this "stranger" posps up to tell them how wonderful they are as parents. The kids standing next to their parents?  Their smiles are beaming with pride for these adults who are constantly being told by "specialists" that they're too dumb to know how to parent.

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