There is one phenomenon that truly irritates me and that is the powerfully insular way some modern parents view ( and expect everyone else to view) their wonderful little darlings.
It's as though the children and the children's behaviour is the centre of everything that is Holy.
Life is child dominated
Child is king.
And the rest of the world can go f@ck itself.
Yesterday, on the way back from the vets, I listened to a radio 4 discussion between a Scandinavian psychologist and a prickly British Child " expert"
The Scandinavian was bemoaning his country's liberal attitude to child rearing, stating that Swedish teens now have the largest drop out rate from school in Europe and worrying high levels of suicide and self harm especially in young girls.
He quoted many other surprising facts about the disenchanted Nordic youth before suggesting that " making your child into a Prince or Princess at an early age " wasn't doing them any favours"
He concluded that children that are told and treated as though they are the most important people in the world have huge problems adjusting when the real world informs them that they are in fact, normal.
Of course, there is more at play here, there always is, but I did find the general premise interesting.
I came from a home where both parents never praised or applauded anything we did, so an occasional crumb of congratulation and adulation would have worked wonders on my shy eleven year old psychi....Now....I am in total agreement that children should be praised, nurtured, supported, loved and most importantly not criticised when they are growing up
But what I do not agree with, is the overwhelming way that some nuclear families allow and indeed cultivate the myth that their child rules all, and the rest of society ( and community) can go hang.
The Swedish psychologist ( who incidentally had six kids) concluded that kids nowadays often think that they are brighter, more talented, and more popular than reality would dictate...so they often come down with a bang when realisation hits.....on reflection....my slightly unhappy childhood might have
given me an uneven start......but when I did eventually find out that I wasn't as bad and as useless as I originally thought I was, life took on a rather different and more rosy hue!
The only way was up!