A GENERATION OF VERY POOR PARENTING BUILDS UP OUR COSTS
PARENTING-THE VITAL FIRST STEP ON A LONG JOURNEY
"You only get one chance to make a good first impression". That is a phrase one hears more and more these days and truism though it may be, it does have a clear relevance to many other aspects in life. Some, like making that first impression, are down to the individual, others are outside that control but nevertheless, are key to important aspects of life and the type of life that each individual can, or will, likely lead.
Key to just about everything is the biggest lottery of all. We all enter this world in like manner, though in many differing circumstances and the chilling realisation is that for many, where and how they are born and who they have as parents will determine their whole life from day one and they are powerless to do anything about it. Their die, so to speak is cast and set from their first breath of air.
Every teacher in training learns swiftly about NATURE and NURTURE. The first relating to genes passed on from mother and father, the second, the environment provided in which those genes develop. The nuclear family, in the normal run of things welds both together, so the child becomes a kind of mirror to the parents, at least and until other factors, such as Education provided plays a part However, more and more we begin to see that whilst Education is an important and key factor in development it fights an uphill battle in many cases
Of course, this state of affairs has always existed and over the centuries, Educationalists have honed their skills and, as they do today, influence remarkably, the lives of many. Even so, as long before, we always have an effective underclass, largely unaffected in any positive way by Education and who mimic the failings of their parents as they themselves grow into adults, producing , along with partners of like natures and nurtures, an ever increasing number of offspring again, unlikely ever to break out of the constrictions of the mould that was closed around them from inception, never mind birth.
I often wonder what would be the reality of the old fairy story "The Changeling" would be if it were to take place today and in a variety of circumstances and not just "Prince " or "Pauper circumstances. Take an extreme example for a moment. Take an Inuit new born from the icy wastes and place in a sports mad family environment. Could that child aspire thus to sporting greatness? On the other hand take a new born from an academically gifted family and place in a unit where books are unknown, parents uncaring and the wider group ignorant of learning. Would the genes shine through when Education enters the equation, and if so could full potential ever be realised? Food for thought perhaps.
STATISTICS HIGHLIGHT OUR MODERN PROBLEM.
As stated, the problem is not one that is just of our age. "The poor are always with us"
THAT IS A PHRASE HANDED DOWN FOM GENERATION TO GENERATION BUT, GIVEN THAT WE ARE ,OR CLAIM TO BE, A PROGRESSIVE SOCIETY, WE WOULD PERHAPS EXPECT THE PROBLEM TO BE LESSENING OR AT LEAST STABILISED. IN FACT, AS STATISTICS RENTLY PUBLISHED SHOW, THE PROBLEM IS ESCALATING
In the UK we describe young people with the sort of problems outlined, as having "Special Needs". The common denominators for these are identified as being:1. Poor Parenting, 2. Weak Teaching 3. Very Few Books,4.Very Poor Diet,5.Very Late Bedtimes.These are indeed the classic symptoms one can detect all around the country. Slightly in mitigation it should be mentioned that some School Heads are too hasty to label children as requiring special needs to help massage their performance targets and positions in the ridiculous "League Table" system we insist on retaining years after it has palpably failed our children.
Apparently, 21% of children are recorded as having special needs. This is 2% up on 2006 and comes from a country where idiotic politicians want 50% of all children to go to University ! Again, you could not make it up.
57 Primary Schools and 42 Secondary Schools are revealed as having 50% of their pupils in special needs and it comes as no surprise to find that the poorer the home, the greater the chance of the child needing special needs These are shocking figures when taken in isolation but set against what we see and hear daily, they are not at all remarkable.
This week we have had the culmination of a trial which sent 9 men, of Pakistani origin living in North West England to jail for grooming and then submitting to gross sexual abuse, girls as young as 14 / 15 years. That in itself is an issue to be addressed fully at another time, but here, I focus solely on the behaviour of the parents of these young girls. One such, on Radio claimed it was not his fault that his daughter was so mislead and abused, "What can I do "? he wailed, "Once they go out I have no idea what they are doing". Clearly a person who has failed to grasp, as many others like him, the first principle of parenting. Not for him to understand that as a parent you first give your children roots and later help them to fly. These children were left to fly alone and unprepared and were easy meat to the exploiters who befriended them with free taxi rides, kebabs and then alcohol. All just too predictable, however nauseating the behaviour of those evil men into whose clutches they so easily fell.
Also, daily on British TV an unedifying ex-gambler, called Jeremy Kyle scrapes the bottom of the barrel of British Society to bring the uneducated, the ignorant, the alcoholic and drug ridden, to appear on the so called show to ostensibly find a solution to their arguments etc. This involves much shouting, swearing, storming out and then often those "all important DNA results" to bring closure to the lies and deceit that the victims have tortured each other with for so long. This show should be compulsive viewing for any who take issue with the fact that we have a rampant underclass. What chance does any offspring born of a union between such flotsam and jetsam of society have? Even the politicians would withdraw from claiming that 50% so born will see a University, but there is every chance a much higher percentage will gain a place in a jailhouse, like their parents and often grandparents before them.
A BLEAKER FUTURE ?
Recently, we greeted my wife"s first grandchild, Thomas into the world.
LIKE MY OWN 5 GRANDCHILDREN HE WON THE LOTTERY AS HE WAS BORN TO PARENTS WHO LOVED HIM, ARE INTELLIGENT AND COMMITED TO GIVE HIM THE BEST POSSIBLE START IN LIFE
At the same time over the country there will have been born at the same time, others not so fortunate by a long way. So does this mean that we face a bleaker future. The jury, one may say, is out, but maybe things are better, if no worse than ever they have been. My concern is that for all the organisations, councils, acts of parliament, and efforts of charitable institutions, we make little or no headway. We do not, cannot, leave it to the likes of Jeremy Kyle and his TV crew but, for all the worthy efforts that are ongoing, we do not seem to progress. Every time news like that this week of the sex abuse appears we have newspapers devote yards of column inches to it, and the radio and TV giving hours of airtime to no doubt very worthy men and women with impressive titles to pontificate on the problem in hand and usually telling us they have been compiling, usually at a cost to the Tax Payer, a report on whatever is being discussed. I have a simple message for them. WHATEVER YOU ARE DOING IS NOT WORKING FOLKS!
The underclass has been with us for centuries and, I guess, will always be so. Time then not to consider how to remove it, but simply contain it and then bit by bit seek to reduce it. Not very "PC" but first look at the alternatives. The problem may be a bleak one for sure, but with realistic, not philanthropic goals we may, just may prevent it from eventually overtaking the better aspects of the human race. At best it is an each way bet now in another generation or so, the odds will not be so generous.