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Scared Of & For Our Kids

Robert Gauld

Why is it that as a nation we are both scared of our kids and scared for them? Are they simply behaving to the standards that the media has set for them?

One thing that I find difficult to beleive about how we currently are as society is that we are both scared of our kids and scared for them.

We are so scared about them getting abused that any one who works with them has to have checks done on them (don't get me wrong my problem with that idea is in the current implementation not the fact that it is done, a topic for another post sometime). We are so scared as society that a seemingly automatic assumption is that anyone who wants to work with kids is a paedophile. Not that they want to share a hobby with them, not that they get enjoyment out of seeing them develop both personally and at some skill or other.

We are also scared of our children. They're all drunks who spend all night out in a city centre causing chaos right? Well no I think that the media is very good at emphasising the negative about kids and not the positive, for example a quick search on BBC news for 'teen' produces 9 negative stories to 1 positive. So how much of the more extreme bad behaviour is kids playing upto the expectation that the media sets for them? Never mind that many many teens are not like that and that several are involved with charity oriented projects. Whilst I can see how a group of teens hanging around a street corner is threatening to OAPs I feel that a lot of that is perceived threat and yes I realise that a lot of that perceived threat comes from the way that they block the path because they're not thinking.

So really it's no surprise that today this article on the BBC site. It doesn't suprise me that adults are scared of working with kids, but it does worry me (a lot!).

Now to leave you with a thought. The scenario is a 6 year old boy is at an after school club and trips, grazing his knee. He starts to cry and walks up to an adult and hugs them, the adult places an arm around him to provide comfort. The boy soon stops crying and joins back in with whatever game was being played. Some people would say that the act of placing an arm around the boy was abuse, I would say that by not comforting the kid (and pushing them away to break the hug) you are commiting psychological abuse, sending a powerful message to the child about not caring about them. So the questions, is there abuse there? Does the answer change if the sex of the adult does? Does it change if the sex of the child changes? Does it change if the age of the child changes? Should the answers change? An important note here - it is the child which initates the hug, it all happens in full view of another adult.