Tuesday, May 10, 2005

It takes a village?

Talking to a friend last night, I learnt that her stepmother will not allow her to discipline or correct or anything her (half) siblings. Basically it's be fluffy and nice, or nothing. Is this the way society is heading, the complete breakdown of the function of extended family? It seems that more and more, parents are the sole authority figures in a child’s life. Heaven help us if a teacher tries to discipline a child, or even suggest that their behaviour is less than stellar. And we all know what happens to bus drivers who dare to assert their authority – they get accused of kidnapping!

And yet, the phrase ‘it takes a village’ is still being thrown around. Every shopping centre now has special parking for pregnant/new mothers. Cash handouts from society go to every new mother now. And yet we get nothing in return. If we see a child misbehaving it is not acceptable to say anything, or even throw a dirty look their way. I have the ‘luck’ of travelling on the train with Newtown High School kids every day, and their behaviour is woeful. And yet we must suffer in silence while the little darlings cause absolute chaos. Can you imagine the outrage if one of the passengers ever told them off? Or if CityRail staff read them the riot act?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind pitching in and helping out for the common good, community and society are big beliefs of mine (yes I know, bloody hippy right?) BUT this all falls down when all you do is take… today’s children may be tomorrow’s society, but if they aren’t taught that they have a responsibility to society as well as a right to its benefits then I’m moving to Lower Mongolia. Or Yass. Whichever has better weather.

It makes me SO grateful that my friends are all good, sensible parents whose kids are a pleasure to spend time with.

No comments: