It is one of the maladies of our age to profess a frenzied allegiance to truth in unimportant matters, to refuse consistently to face her where graver issues are at stake.
- Janos Arany, poet (1817-1882)
Here's the truth. Children learn from their parents. Pretty well everyone accepts that. Many even insist that schools and other sources of information from which children could learn, such as religious schools, should not be usurping the responsibilities of parents, that parents should be the primary givers of lessons to their own children.
That's like insisting that motherhood is good.
What we don't insist upon is that parents who are teaching their children have a good idea of what they should be teaching, how it should be taught, when it should be taught and how important consistency and repetitiveness are to the learning process.
Parents don't have to know a thing about parenting in order to be "good" parents by society's standards--good meaning having children that don't violate laws. Good parents, by the standards of many people, are those who raise children who don't get into trouble.
This kind of thinking is totally stupid and the people who believe it are ingorant of how society--any society--functions effectively.
Many parents don't even appreciate that they are role models for their children to follow. Most kids, by the age of 40, adhere to the same standards of behaviour and administer the same kinds of corrective measures to their own children as their parents. A small minority, having endured extreme emotional pain as children, act differently toward their own children because they vow to be different from their parents.
Here's the part about "graver issues" referred to in the quote. Parents who know little about parenting raise children who also become parents who know little about parenting. Over the generations, the parenting knowledge pool of these families decreases, so that succeeding generations actually know progressively less than previous ones.
Parents who are, effectively, emotional abusers raise children who abuse their own offspring because they don't know any other way of parenting. They practise what they have learned from their own parents, right or not. The lessons were taught by example, not by lesson plans.
These ugly "graver issues" we consistently refuse to accept or to face, all on a matter of principle (that parents hold supreme influence over their children, even if they know nothing or are emotionally abusive).
In ancient tribal times, children learned about parenting from the whole community. This continued through the era where the economy was based on agriculture. By the Industrial Age parents were too busy for parenting, having enough to do with their time to keep their families alive. Families began to fall apart.
Today we are so removed from the traditions of the past that many parents have no clear idea of what is required of them in terms of their responsibilities toward their children and their community. As a result we have children who treat the law, private property and people's rights as children of old used to treat outhouses on Halloween--something to be pushed over and forgotten.
This is simple. If we wants parents to teach the values of our culture and our society to their children--to all children, not just to the kids of parents who know what they are doing--we need to have parents who know the skills and knowledge necessary for good parenting.
As we have no good and widespread method for teaching parenting skills and knowledge now, we need to devise some way to teach adolescents before they become parents. Learning the hard way as our children grow is wrong. In itself it's a form of abuse against our children.
Take murder and drug use, for examples. Many parents actively and repeatedly teach even their young children that killing others is wrong as a way to solve problems and that using drugs as a way to alleviate their emotional pain solves nothing. So most adults, having learned their lessons, don't kill others in their family or their community and don't take drugs. However, some do. Those lessons were never taught, believe it or not.
The people (now even children) who kill their own family members and take drugs as temporary ways to manage their problems were not taught the lessons well. We may assume that every children was tuaght the lessons, but that would be a wrong assumption. Some just don't get the message.
This is not rocket science. It's easy. Teach and they will learn. Don't teach and problems will develop over which we have no control. We have lots of them today.
If we want a program that will be easy to implement and relatively cheap to mount to accomplish this objective of teaching adolescents before they become parents, there is one in a book. You can read some of the book and other material about this subject at http://billallin.com
The book is called Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems.
Buy it or borrow it. Read it so that we can get started at correcting our escalating community and family problems before life gets worse, even dangerous and life-threatening for some people. Then pass the book to others to read and tell still others about it.
The solutions are there. They're available. Our community, family and personal problems of such intensity that many people fear for their lives and their future are solvable.
Claiming that they are inevitable consequences of modern society is just plain wrong. It's that consistent refusal to face graver issues spoken about in the quote. It's wrong and it's a plain lie. The reason these problems seem so unsolvable is that too many people keep telling us that they can't be solved. But they're wrong.
Please help to spread the word. The future is ours to make or to screw up.
Tell others what you know. Start today.
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems, the only way to address and solve today's tragic and escalating problems without bankrupting ourselves.
Learn more at http://billallin.com