The paper this morning contained an article about the results of a survey that show that children today are under ‘stress’.
There were a number of key ‘stresses’ – but a couple caught my eye because they were basically about how fearful the children were about going out in ‘the world’. The solution appeared to be more psychologists in the schools. What isn’t being asked is: “Where does this fear come from?”
I think this fear is coming from the parents. In real terms, the world is no more dangerous than it was 50 years ago. The difference is that the ‘world’ (aka the ‘Western’ world) is more informed! Parents feed their children fear for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Everything is too dangerous and the child must be prevented from doing anything that may cause the slightest harm. The question that must be posed is “who are they doing it for? – their children or themselves?” I cannot help thinking it is more about reducing their own worry and less about their children’s general well-being. The result will be a generation who are less physical, less adventurous and more timid. (Interestingly: there was another article – that gives some legitimacy to my comments. It suggest that the decline in mental health in young people is directly related to how little time one spends outdoors.)
The innovators and explorers will have to be found elsewhere – because they won’t be found from within the spoilt Western societies.
Thankfully, we will have the children from 2nd and 3rd (I hate those terms – but I cannot think of an alternative) world countries – as those countries rise in influence – to take up the mantle. We can only hope that we won’t poison the well by peddling this pile of puerile parenting piffle (my alliteration for the day).
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