One of the newspapers is carry the plaintive “Why are our children so unhappy?” on its front page. This always makes me angry to the point of spitting especially when people have been pointing out for years that children are fucking miserable and nothing ever changes. I don’t believe that childhood should be some sort of Arcadia but I do think that we set our children up for failure and criticism pretty much from the start, to wit:
They are forced to study for exams and qualifications which are then branded worthless. They are pushed out of public areas because they are “a menace” – people have even invented children-repelling devices like that sodding high pitched noise maker. They are labelled the ASBO generation and frowned at for hanging out with mates. If they then stay inside or play computer games they are told they are unfit or obese or will unquestioningly internalise the content of their video games and go on to commit the next high school shooting. They are aggressively marketed at and then told off for being materialistic and shallow. And then some cocky nit pipes up with “You don’t know you’re born – you’ve never had it so good”.
Individual parents try to deal with the fall out as best they can but that’s as fair as expecting someone to carry out advanced neurosurgery using a turnip and some nail varnish.
Oh, I have so much RAGE! I’m going to check for spleen venting opportunities on the BBC Have Your Say section.