[LINK] Oh, that evil Internet!

Craig Sanders cas at taz.net.au
Thu Jul 23 20:47:48 AEST 2009

On Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 10:38:09AM +0100, Leah Manta wrote:

> I find it amazing that parents will let under 15's happily go off on
> their own for hours on end without any supervision or observation.

i'm amazed by the exact opposite - by just how coddled and sheltered and
un-adventurous teenagers are today, how lacking in resilience they are,
and how quick they are collapse into helplessness while regurgitating
classic victim-mentality psychobabble at the slightest imagined injury.

i remember being told from the age of about 5 "give us some peace and
quiet, go outside and play"...and from the age of about 10 that changed
from "outside" (the backyard or the street outside the house) to the
local park a kilometer or so away or the local pool or the library or
whatever. and that was the common experience amongst all my peers.

nowadays, you *never* see kids out and about messing around at the park
or the local creek or whatever. they're not allowed out by themselves,
and they seem to have no interest in going out and doing things in the
big blue room.

my generation's parents (boomers) were probably a bit negligent and
certainly wilfully blind to some of the real dangers in the world (e.g.
refusing to believe that your pervy uncle - or teacher, or priest,
etc - was a danger while still getting caught up in the bogus hype of
deceptive memes like "Stranger Danger")....but i think my generation
have swung way too far in the opposite direction, and tend to be
over-protective and clingy. their kids never grow up or are growing up
late because they've never been allowed to do anything on their own and,
just as importantly, they've never *had to* do anything on their own.

Kids need to do stuff on their own to gain a sense of their own personal
agency. and sure, they'll need support and help when they fail or when
they've bitten off more than they can chew, but the only way they'll
develop that all-important sense of agency is by actively doing things,
not by being carted around to passively consume a experience.

back to the topic of bullying - IMO, the question isn't "how do we stop
bullying?" because there will always be bullying, there will always be
arseholes in this world, and bad shit will always happen. the question
really needing an answer is "how do we teach kids to be strong and
resilient - to be able to stand up to bullies, or at least immune to
them and have the ability to walk away and not accept/internalise their
malicious insults?"


craig sanders <cas at taz.net.au>

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