It was not so long ago that I was a teenager, but it seems like a lifetime ago. Gone are the days when youngsters feared their elders, gone are the days when they were mesmerized by the mysteries of age and the answers it holds. Nowadays it seems that the younger they are the more arrogant they are and more worldly that they believe themselves to be. This is by no means a new fashion as one of the pillars of youth is blissful ignorance and within that arrogance in their hurry to change this. Humans are predisposed to view the world from a bubble with a singular perspective based on the comfort and standpoint of that all important person, themselves. Unless other worlds collide with their own, they have no real understanding as to the effects of their actions. In childhood this is most apparent and therefore in a sense maturity is the accumulation of bumps and dents to our bubbles that allow us to fit in more peacefully within the rest of the world. So the question is; how can one gain an understanding of their misfit in society if they are not made aware of their errors? How can a child understand that not respecting your elders or those in positions of authority if their own parents are the source? Travelling on London’s tubes or buses the sites are shocking. To see an 11 year old screaming all kinds of obscenities at the bus driver, who is trying to support their family, only to turn around and watch the parent laughing or encouraging them before stepping in themselves for a piece of the action.
At this point I think of my own parents and those of my peers, my own generation which only recently made way for this current disgrace. I am not ashamed that I still fear and respect my parents. Until this day when a mischievous thought passes through my mind it is followed by an image of either my mother or father unabashedly advising me of the error of my ways. Just the possibility of being caught out and the consequences that lay in wait weighed against the satisfaction derived from whatever silly little mischief I wanted to get into was enough to change my mind. It is no great secret that my parents were dictatorial in their parenting skills and they weren’t the only ones. The relationship between some of my peers and their parents still resemble that of master and disciple. And yet these are responsible, respectable and successful members of society. They were not harmed by their parents strong grip, quite simply because a child needs a parent not a friend. Friends are for peers, schoolmates at least not until the child transforms into an adult.
My point of view is not based upon a relationship with my own child, it is based on my relationship with my own parents and the disgust I feel hearing a child abuse an adult while the adult cowers away fearing the wrath of that child. There is something seriously wrong in society if we fear our own children and the weapons they harbour on their person, if we now need to consider bullet-proof vests before sending our children to school.
If dogs need a leader of the pack to place them in order, if we live in a world where experience is king in work in life, then how could we allow children with limited understanding of our world and our society to rule us?