Taking the bull by the balls is the new segment for all those topics which I am sure will cause uproar and naughty words. But after I hope will inspire actual conversation.
What about the children?
This is going to be one of those posts that you have to throw caution to the wind and just write it. It will be uncomfortable to write about and to discuss, but as I grow older I learn most things worth talking about are things that are hard to talk about.
The question is “What about the children?” This question in the last 20 years has served to shape our society. Think about it, that question has lead to removing the ability of parents to discipline their children. Were there kids out there being abused, of course, but sometimes a spanking is just a spanking. And in order to protect those few we created sweeping changes in the laws that in the end affected everyone. The Auto industry built accessories into cars solely based on children, things like the dual DVD screens that play different movies or my favorite, the window that won’t go down all the way. We created the child proof medicine cap that as I child I had to open for my great grandmother because her hands were too disfigured from arthritis to open on her own.
There are many many more examples and I could go on but I think you get the picture. Now for the uncomfortable part. We have raised a generation of children that are so protected there stupid and delusional. In trying to protect the next generation of children we have crippled them physically, mentally, and emotionally. We have taught the children to fear life in all aspects. And we have made life more difficult for ourselves in the process.
I posted a blog yesterday about enhancements to the body, physically or chemically, in order to compete and I asked if it was fair to allow some types of enhancement and not others. One response I got was very interesting; it said we should ban enhancement drugs from sports so our children don’t turn themselves into disfigured freaks trying to compete. Here is the truth of the matter, say I am a professional baseball player and I decide I want to enhance, as an adult is that not my right to do what I want to to my own body? If I grow a third eye out the back of my spine then as an adult I have to suffer the consequences. What I should not have to do is raise other people’s children for them. If you don’t want little Bobby or Melinda taking drugs then now and for the next 18 years of their life is your chance to have the conversations with them you need to have.
And at the end of the day that is the problem, when did we decide it was easier to write a law than talk to our kids? Grand Theft Auto is not to blame for your kid’s bad behavior, lack of teaching them how to act is the blame for their behavior. We as a society have convinced ourselves that children are too stupid to understand things so we dumbed it down until we stopped talking to them altogether.
Then we send them out in the world stupid, unable to cope, and believing that if they just show up they deserve a place on the team.
I have a friend who told me this story, I repeat it every chance I get because the point is usually lost. My friend told me when his niece was 6 or 7 years old he taught her if someone a friend a stranger a family member whoever ever touched her down there she was to scream at the top of her lungs “This muthafucka is touching my pussy and I need some help NOW!!!!”
His sister was not happy about that, and when he repeats the story someone usually says his name in that long drawn out tsk tsk kind of way. I don’t get it. Thos people never get the point of the story that he has taught this little girl to not be a victim, that if someone touches her in a way they should not she is able to get people’s attention and get help. They instead can’t believe that he taught her “muthafucker” and “pussy” two words I am sure she has heard on television anyway.
Lenore Skenazy is a freelance writer and blogger who runs a site called “Free-Range kids” that coincides with her book “Free-Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry”. She first came to my attention when she was attacked by the media for letting her 9 year old ride the subway all alone. He had been begging her to let him figure out his way home and so she armed him with a metro card, 20 dollars, a roll of quarters and the love of Jesus, and you know what, he made it home just fine. In fact she had given his something that kids today don’t get a lot of, a sense of independence and accomplishment.
In the end the old saying is true, it does take a village to raise a child, but when did the village become a high security prison camp you were locked up in for your own protection.