Thursday, June 17, 2010

Children, Adults, Abuse and Experts

Offered for your consideration: two links to provoke reflection on the state of Western society.

Both deal with children and 'progressive' dystopic interference with their childhood development. We all know that physical, psychological and sexual abuse of children is immoral (or do we? See the second link). However, we should also be on guard against the societal abuse of children.

The first is from the New York Times: A Best Friend? You Must Be Kidding

From this piece consider the following:
“I think it is kids’ preference to pair up and have that one best friend. As adults — teachers and counselors — we try to encourage them not to do that,” said Christine Laycob, director of counseling at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School in St. Louis. “We try to talk to kids and work with them to get them to have big groups of friends and not be so possessive about friends.”
The second link is from the always poignant MercatorNet: Troubling theories about childhood innocence

And from our second witness:
In a paper on this theme, “Kiss and tell: Gendered narratives and childhood sexuality”, Mindy Blaise, a senior lecturer in the faculty of education at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, describes how she tested this theory on some three- and four-year-old children in an Australian childcare centre.

It is worth looking at this is some detail to understand her method.

Using a popular picture book aimed at 6- to 10-year-old children (Clarice Bean, That’s me by Lauren Child) Blaise focuses on a page where Clarice’s older sister Marcie is sitting on her bed reading a fashion magazine. The researcher points and reads out to the children (4 girls and 3 boys) thought bubbles saying: Do boys give you the dreamy eye? Are you a flirt? Have you ever kissed a boy?
Beyond the deadly serious issues both articles raise (and make no mistake, these reveal very serious matters, indeed), I am also led to ask the more prosaic questions:

Why do children need to 'schedule' playtime?

Is this not already a sign that something is seriously wrong with Western society's approach to child rearing?

1 comment:

Dymphna said...

Children are no longer allowed to be children. Even in "good" families, children's time is over scheduled and from birth, they are competing with each other for the world's finite educational resources.

Children are over sexualized by the media and the "experts" which feeds parents fears about what lurks beyond the door of the home. Hence, unstructured play is a thing of the past.

 
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