Friday, 12 April 2013

Reclaiming Lost Ground

Parents folks, yes parents.  That one word that defines a child's course in their life journey.  Parents, yes parents.  Those people that define the future of their children.  Parents, yes parents, that one group of people that "had" control over the destiny and behaviour of their progeny.  So where are they?

Well if one looks hard enough, most are still there, and most give their children the necessities of life, including how to behave in a sensible manner.  But rest assured, the Parent Model is in dire straits.  Over the past 30 years (a generation) marriage splits have been the norm not the exception.  Single Mums and dissassociative fathers the popular parental model.  And you can bet also that many single Mum's are working and time with children is limited.

Yeah, for sure, not all children facing uncertain futures come from dysfunctional homes, there are many "normal" kids out there getting up to mischief.  Cyber Bullying, 3D bullying, the haves and the have nots, and just plain nastiness.  Why though?  I mean kids these days get everything they ask for within reason,.  We've all read varying reports about youth suicide, school bullying, cyber bullying, attacks by children (yes children, under 12's) on senior citizens, and even cases of murder or accessory to major and minor crimes.

And it's not confined to socioeconomic areas or racial groups.  This is happening across the board.  So when and where did it change and more importantly Why.  Well the first place to look is the availability of drugs and alcohol in our society.  The second is the cause those items have on a marriage (domestic violence, neglect, psychological abuse) and yes those things happen in middle and upper class models.  Let's also look at the Bill of Rights.  Children these days (and for 20 years) have grown up knowing they have rights and the responsibility for those rights falls on society and the parents are removed from the equation.  When respect for parents is eroded, respect for society is also eroded and the likes of young teens bullying increases, as does the number of victims.  We can also tout advances in communication for the easy proliferation of bullying and other unhealthy practices to destabilise at risk children.

So what to do?  Well I blogged some time ago about positive Parenting and Life Education classes in schools to PREPARE children for life in Utopia.  Isn't that the role of the parent though?  Well yes, but if we don't put the fence at the top of the cliff we will forever be burying victims.  Parents need to be remade so children and all young adults have the tools to live life decently and with aroha and respect.  The programme only needs to run for 1/2 a generation so we catch all current children coming through.

We also need to remove Youth Rights for children up to the age of 15 so that the Parents regain the control they need to bring up their kids without tacit protestation.  Reclaim lost ground.  Parents first and foremost need to be respected and to also have the full backing of the state.  Sure there will be cases where life ain't rosy for some children but CYF is still there to "Help" rectify the ship.

And it may sound drastic and old fashioned, but our very at risk troublemakers that slip through the parental cracks and commit crime (and bullying is a crime) need to be seen by the Family Court and if serious enough the normal courts and referred to a Youth Aid Facility (once called Borstals - bring them back)  If we can nip these behaviours in the bud before these kids hit the streets of adult life we will provide a better platform for a better society.

I know a lot of this will go unheeded, but if we don't start doing something now it will only get worse.  Too often NIMBY is the catchcry instead of HELP RESTORE!!  Apathy is prevalent in society and as a modern society we have caught up with the worlds problems.  Case in point, too often we find ourselves watching the news and we see murders and violence on a programme that is designed to inform.  Most times folks sit on their comfy sofa and get desensitised to it so when it does happen In Their BackYard they brush it off as it's not their problem.  And the kids are learning that too, not by watching the News, but being locked in their bedroom with their Lappy, iPad, or Smartphone planning death and destruction with little parental intervention.

Come on New Zealand, WAKE UP!!  There are serious issues and implications here.  Our lost children are being buried or are becoming unfit to work in society.  Mike King is taking a step, a positive step, raising youth suicide issues and bringing them to the fore.  But that's not enough.  We need all New Zealanders to stand up and take a vow of Recovery.  Let's lead the world in Child Care (no not toddlers, 9 - 14 year olds), let's get the RESPECT back in our society.  Let's make the path for children more positive and less likely to lead to bad decisions.

Bring Back Good Parents (two preferably).


  1. Great post Thane. Ide like to add that the young folk are missing a sense of 'home' and security. Missing it, without knowing what they are missing. As you say working parents. The kids dont have what we had. That - coming home from school with mum there and the house warm and full of inviting smells. I also get cross that folk say they have to work to pay the mortgage, pay the car off etc. Could folk not choose to have less, therefore giving their kids more - time?

  2. The rot set into family life around the 1940's when some women found that by going to work they had money in their own purses to buy all the things they had been deprived of during the depression and subsequent war. After many years of making do with next to nothing, they found a new freedom, company, money and time away from the daily grind at home.
    Men's wages were very low, so the extra money was great, but what about the kids. Thus the latch key kids were created. My girlfriend then aged 8 years, was one of them in the late 1940's into the 1950's. She had to go straight home, let herself in and start on the chores that her mother would have been doing had she been at home. She was lonely, so she would sneak me inside on occasions for someone to talk to and to help her with her chores, while she waited until 5pm for her parents to arrive home from work.
    That was where the rot set in, children started to feel abandoned and the feeling of insecurity crept into their lives. Subsequent governments have made family life difficult, very low wages, jobs disappearing, forcing more and more women out into the workforce and leaving their kids to fend for themselves. As we know idle hands make work for the devil, parents and kids lives split and went in different ways and the kids with no boundaries or leadership, began pleasing themselves what they did.
    The along came the United Nations charter for the rights of children, the government signed it and the kids could legally do exactly what they wanted and there were no consequences at all. Now the good caring parents have no control at all, try to chastise a kid for doing wrong and they come right up in your face and tell you, "you can't touch me, I will ring the police".
    This subject is very complex, even back in the olden days parents had their kids and sent them to live up in the attic with the nursemaid and they very seldom got to see their parents.
    Not to mention the love of drugs and booze that is rampant these days. There are so many facets that have caused this downfall in the loving, caring family life. A bad economy, lack of finances in the family, insecurity, hopelessness,abandonment, lack of decent leadership in government?????????
    I guess it boils down to the fact that there are shitty, selfish, partying, don't care parents and parents that really do love and care about their brood. Peer pressure from the kids with no stable background sweeps over their kids and clouds and changes their judgement.
    A complex issue for sure and one not easily remedied.

    I give thanks to the powers that be that my mum, myself and my daughter have all gone without the luxuries and stayed home to raise our kids. I loved coming home to those beautiful smells in the house after school and being able to give mum a hug.

  3. So many facets to ponder for sure, very complex issue and one not easily fixed aye.