It has been my observation for some time that we have a very bizarre disconnect in our culture between the way we treat our children and the adults they become. On one hand, when we run across an adult with emotional, mental or substance abuse problems and they share the traumas of their childhood, we are sympathetic. We can see the line between neglect, humiliation, abuse, a failure to protect, etc and the problems which this person has as an adult.
On the other hand, we somehow seem to think that children will survive all manner of things from being dumped in a crowded daycare for 12 hours a day at 6 weeks, to watching violent and sexual entertainment, to being bullied at school without any serious damage being done. It’s as if we as a society seem to think that as long as our children are not subject to permanent bodily harm and have adequate exposure to education and enrichment activities, we’ve done our job. There’s no serious consideration given to the sort of people we are raising and the effect that masses of people raised without adequate attention, nurturing, values and compassion will have on our society. Even when we claim to be advocating for kids, we have a hard time connecting the children of today with the adults they will become. We speak of children as the future, as if they were magical beings who can set things right by virtue of compelling the adults around them to behave well so as not to upset the children’s cuteness, not out of concern for the sort of adults they will one day be.
We have compassion for damaged people on the back end while refusing to do anything to stop the activities which cause this damage to begin with. Adults rule, the kids will be alright and families are whatever the adults want them to be. Continue reading “It is family that will change the world”