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).