Are We Too Protective of Our Children?

As I get older the more I seem to sound like my Dad, and the more I try to advise my children on the right things to do, according to me. In my world I am not wrong. In my world everything I say makes sense. In my world my children should listen to my wise awesomeness and not question anything I tell them to do. My kids and I always fall out over something. It seems that my knowledge and experience is not exactly on point anymore, (if indeed it ever has been!)

As a young, cheeky, know it all teenager, I remember having similar conversations with my Dad, BUT I did know better than him, I’m sure I did. Is it possible that we are the worst people to advise our children in this world? Are we too protective of our loved ones? From what I have read in the papers lately, I am beginning to think that we are perhaps, in some cases, going a little bit too far…

Last week I heard on the radio about a head teacher at a primary school in this country somewhere who, in an effort to teach the children in her care, life lessons as well as traditional subjects, created a farmers market that was run as a democracy by her young charges. They voted on purchasing live stock and decided amongst them what they should sell or buy next. The parents loved it, the teachers loved it and most importantly the children loved it and responded to it by achieving higher grades, and having a genuine interest in their lessons.

All good so far.

So it came to pass, that with two cows and a sheep, there appeared to be a gap in the market, for eggs. It was proposed to slaughter one of the cows in order to purchase some chickens, thereby enabling the sale of eggs, adding to the schools’ coffers. The pupil council voted on it, agreed to it, and made preparations for Chloe, the cow in question, to be dealt with, humanely.

Then came the problem…

Parents didn’t want the animal to be killed fearing it would upset the children. It would seem that they were worried about lost innocence and all that. The headmistresses’ argument was that the children should know the truth about where the food they consumed came from, and furthermore as it was their idea, they should be allowed to continue. A stalemate ensued which resulted in a hate campaign against the headmistress who eventually, sensing no other recourse, resigned from her post amid death threats and general unpleasantness.

So my questions are?

Would these children have really been affected that much? Do kids nowadays have no idea that you have to kill an animal BEFORE you eat it? Is it a bit condescending to the little mites, considering they deal with death, murder and loss in almost every show they watch on TV, with cartoons being the biggest perpetrators?

Let’s fast forward a generation and have a think about how these children may end up? Are we really preparing them for the real world or are they being prepared for a fake one?

Human beings are born totally helpless. With no mother or father around a new born baby would literally cry itself to death. Yes, we are resilient to a point, but not greatly so, I mean, we can’t walk, talk or anything useful for at least 8 months! Is this the reason why we always search for someone to look after us, and are therefore all the too eager to hand responsibility for ourselves over to someone else?

Imagine a future where people are scared to do anything for fear of failure or of getting hurt. Imagine that our bones become so brittle that we start suffering from new types of diseases! In fact one result of not being with the slaughter of animals could be a reliance on fake foods that ‘taste just like the original’. Oh wait! thats happening already!

The problem with giving our care over to someone else is that we don’t know when we are being short changed. We allow the govt to care for us and blindly believe that all the tax hikes and unemployment are solely the cause of ‘market forces’ and yet govt scandals concerning misappropriated funds and dodgy politicians go on unchallenged. We trust in a school system to educate our children, and don’t question when core subjects are removed and bullshit vocational ones are introduced instead. When someone else tells us something is damaging to us, we believe them without question; think conkers, monkey bars, competition in primary schools; and, when something is introduced we accept it without question; think id cards, cctv surveillance cameras, the war in Iraq!!

In fact, the more I think about it, the more it sounds like we are in an organised religion, one that doesn’t really look out for us small people, and relies on non interference from the masses to run properly. The atheists in society will be pissed when they hear this!

But perhaps these are just a sign of the times and as I get older I should get used to this ever-changing world I am now a part of. I don’t know, it doesn’t seem like it will be much fun, but then, that’s the same thing my dad says!

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