Sunday, April 29, 2018

Today's child tomorrows monster

Image result for children in charge  cartoonHow we treat our kids today is a form of self-fulfilling prophecy.  Nothing in life has a more profound effect on children then how the children are treated at home.  What we let them do, how often we let them do it and how intensive the behaviors that are occurring determine the eventual outcome of the child’s personality and future behaviors.

Think back when you were a teenager and what decisions you would have made, given the right to make them, as you saw fit at the time.  I dare say those choices would not be in your long-term best interest.

Even as a 25-year-old the tendency is to move toward short-term solutions that feed the now instead of the future.  For many of us, adulthood is only a number, an age reached that allows us to act like adults.  Life does intervene and in most cases, the child of our past is forced to adapt to the responsibilities that inevitably become our lives. 

Those lives have for many millennia innately understood the need to rise to the occasion and transform from child to responsible adult, grasping the horns of opportunity and holding on for dear life, knowing that by letting go those gifts of life, so dearly desired, would be forsaken and eventually forgotten. 

Life is a precious gift but when not understood it is a burden of such proportions that many have chosen to end their existence prematurely.  Suicide is ranked as the second leading cause of death for those ages 10-34.  The first is unintended injury, the third is homicide.  These are gruesome and troubling statistics that affect our youth, our children, our innocent little babies that were held in our arms.  We taught these souls to walk, to talk.  We dreamed of their lives being better than our own and now we are watching them flounder in a life we are supporting.

More troubling within the statistics is the further designation of young girls who commit suicide and the even more troubling fact that for every death there are on average 90 attempts, and yet we continue to stand by, sitting on the sidelines as those we presumably love and adore destroy themselves.

Statistics on depression for all classes and ages is difficult to determine but the rise in medication use is easy to track.  SSRI’s, like Prozac or Zoloft, have seen a steady rise over the last two decades and with it the rise in self-harming attempts.  Our society may not be spiraling but it is trending downward toward self-destruction.

There is no easy solution, especially since we have allowed the many factors of morality to be compromised and negotiated until the very definition of morality is nothing more than a state of mind, based on personal feelings.  It used to be a principle, a clear set of rules to follow but now it’s nothing more than a choice.  Morality needs to be taught and enforced and parents used to teach those morals that were universally understood.   

What is moral to one is now just a subjective idea for another, there is no basis, no foundation, no standard for our children to follow and worse, no parents to teach, to exemplify those essential characteristics that used to be morality.  We have allowed social media to substitute our parental duties.  We have allowed the schools to take the lead in teaching those personal lessons of life to our children and we have allowed the cell phone to rob our children of their individual identities just so we can pursue our individual goals and desires.

We have failed as parents.  We are losing our children because of our inability to stand for what is right and demand that they stand as well when they are young and impressionable.  How they stand is a learned behavior and one that almost always results in a posture that is akin to the parent’s stance. 
Because we have allowed them to chose for themselves, they have chosen social media, they have chosen a constant connection with the impersonal, a developmental misappropriation of the familial construct, they cannot stand straight, they have never been taught. 
Now we give them a voice and worse we listen to their rhetoric through feigned understanding, supporting what they say by our reluctance to act. We let them march and complain, we let them demand and petition without requiring they understand the basics of what they do or the consequences of their actions.

In Texas, a sixth grader was killed during the national walk out when he made the decision to leave the event.  It was obviously his decision but who is responsible?  The sixth-grade student for not doing what he was supposed to do or the school district for not making sure he was doing what he was supposed to do?  Therein lies the problem.  When do we hold those accountable for not doing what should be done?

In the Texas case, the student was under the care of the district, they will be held accountable.  From that standpoint, the responsibility to care for and watch over the children is fairly clear.  If it is clear in this case, then why is it not so for the parents of all of our children who have allowed their children to choose life’s paths prior to knowing enough about life to make good choices? 

The logic of allowing a child (this is a variable term indicating a lack of experience and understanding) to chose within the context of decisions that may have lifelong ramifications is ludicrous and unfathomable to those who truly want the child to grow and achieve incrementally.  We all should learn line upon line, by example and through the responsible tutelage of those who have come before, assuring a greater chance of success from one generation to the next.  What we have now is insanity…. 

Phones need to be limited or controlled, all social media should be monitored or removed from their lives and morals and standards should be taught and reinforced at home and at school.  Failure to implement these fundamental and essential parental programs will result in our society feeding on itself with no one being satisfied from the frenzy.

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