Archive for March, 2010

As a parent, who has a child in middle school, I find that the favored techniques to gain information from our children to mimic that of a terrorist interrogation.  While I can appreciate the need to gain information, my bewilderment lies within the apparent belief that intimidation and lying are advantageous (and acceptable) when dealing with children.

As far as I can tell, from speaking with my daughter and her peers, when being questioned in the school offices, children are often screamed at, threatened and belittled. I ask you? How do you expect these young children to grow up to become successful self-reliant, self-trusting and healthy adults when their (supposed) role models are acting with less care than prison guards?

I’m curious to know why these children, who are in trouble for possibly being involved with the use of pot and ecstasy are considered villains rather than victims?

Why hasn’t anyone involved offered help and hope over threatening and adding to their already tenuous position in life; one, that ultimately may have been the culprit.  Experimental drug use is a lofty option over feeling lost, deadened or alone, one often glorified by the act of defiance alone. One that screams, “ I need help feeling better about myself” and what do we do? Scream at their hearts and minds more, expressing what vile, little creatures they are for making unwise choices. For shame, for shame!

How many adults can honestly say they’ve never taken a drug or a drink? How many of us have used that drug or drink as a form of escape under the guise of just needing to “unwind”? How many of us were using the same approach to dealing with stress and unhappiness as a child? Why does the ability to understand and empathize disappear when we are clearly being given signals from our children that they are struggling or in pain? Where is our capacity to teach, guide, nurture and love? It seems that when drugs come into the picture judgment immediately replaces caring.

I’ver heard it said, love doesn’t work. Only discipline (which easiy becomes bullying) gets “these kids” to listen, to straighten up, to what? Obey? Since when does obedience create happy individuals? From my personal family history, I’d say, never. It’s created an alcoholic mother, father and grandmother, each of whom were never allowed the freedom to be who they were, but rather were forced to conform to the rules of the house, to be respectful of those (adults) who did not respect them back and therefore lived desperate lives of cellular discordance and confusion. Why is it okay to do to our children what was done to us? Why do we ignore their individuality and treat them like they are criminal for simply trying to maneuver life?

Making children (or anyone for that matter) feel bad about themselves is never a successful approach to getting positive results.  Do you think rehab facilities are verbally beating the participants in order to help them heal? Perhaps it was the compassionless way in which life treated them that led them even further down their paths of despair and into addiction.

I would like to suggest that our educational system maintain a distinction between the board of corrections and the board of education; as it has the greatest influence on our children outside of the home environment and it’s influences will last a lifetime on our children (just as it has with most of us). Some of us were fortunate to be students of teachers who truly cared, but the majority of us were just hustled through like cattle, nameless, faceless and already labeled, “liar, loser, no good or useless”. I want my child to feel significant, not because she is special but because she is human. We each crave acknowledgement, to be seen and valued. We can start that process by choosing new methods of interacting. We have to be brave enough to feel vulnerable and helpless as we learn new ways of communicating. We have to be patient. We have to be willing and desiring of a world that sees the creative, the potential, the heart and humanity within the individual.