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Raising Children to Survive
Raising Children in a Chaotic World
Protecting Children from a World in Chaos
There is no doubt that the world children live in today is not the one their parents were accustomed to. Protecting children from a world in chaos is not a task for the feint of heart. Yet, children do endure despite all obstacles with a unique brand of aplomb and pluck reserved only for them.
Their little minds are constantly barraged with "do's and don't's" to the exclusion of any sense of freedom. Where once children might have enjoyed fresh air and sunshine, they are most often relegated to their rooms overloaded with pre-eminent possessions to occupy their minds. Their rooms are models of a germ-free, sanitized cocoon that would make a biosphere look like a landfill. The sadness of the insular world children live in creates an environment of fear. Fear of being embarrassed, bullied, attacked or even the slight hurt of a pin prick is a constant for them and their parents.
Their diets are guided solely by a regimen that is adjudged "healthy." Moderation isn't the exception, nor even the rule. Absolute extremity and fear governs every morsel they put in their mouths. Yet, in the deep chasm between their insularity and children's freedom, parents rarely demand order of the chaos in the world their children live in.
Insular Lives, Insular Children
It's fairly easy to understand why children rely so heavily on social media online. Their face-to-face experiences are limited to "play dates" carefully orchestrated to fit into Mom and Dad's scheduled needs. Streets no longer ring with the sound of children playing. Backyards have become fashion statements with the most luxurious, expensive playground equipment that are rarely or actually used by children. Such is the fear of pain or injury.
Creating the insular child is relatively simple. First, the infant is regimented in day care on a daily basis, shipped off to pre-school before entering kindergarten and then the formal education begins with parents driving their kids to school and picking them up in car pools like groceries in shopping carts.
Home is a style statement for these children, not a place to rest, relax or have fun.
It may seem amusing to older parents who saw nothing wrong with children walking two or three blocks to school in snow and rain. Insular children may melt like fine grains of sugar should a drop of rain fall upon their little heads.
To grandparents, the very idea that children in high school must be picked up at the foot of their driveway instead of an appointed bus stop, has them shaking their heads in bewilderment.
These same high school students graduate and expect their employers to continue the insular patterns of their parental environment. When that doesn't happen, these former students refuse to work, though they still demand a CEO salary.
The result of childhood insularism is young adults incapable of serious work ethic as most employers today claim. Insularism isn't always the correct breeding ground for teaching children the value of a good day's work for a good day's pay. Rather, texting while at the place of business is the new "work ethic."
A World in Chaos
It's not possible to lay all blame on parents for a world in chaos. Although, blame can be the strong suit of adults in general. In a world of chaos, two mentalities are prevalent:
. The enabler
. The Initiator
The enabler mentality is the long-suffering adult who ignores most offenses to their senses. They endure sales pitches more often than a sane human being, not undergoing torture, should.
Everything around them is a sales opportunity up to and including corruption, lying, outright theft and violence on a scale not seen nor heard since T-Rex ruled the planet. The enabler mentality lives in a constant state of fear they transfer subconsciously to their children by becoming helicopter parents. It's easy to make the claim "a parent who hovers obsessively over every aspect of their child is a form of parental protection." In reality, that kind of compulsive protection creates more fear in children than it does survival instincts.
The Initiator is the active player in chaos. One step forward without reprimand initiates the entitlement to ten steps forward in a kind of chaotic dance to control other adults and their children. Keeping the world chaotic with no real or foreseeable direction is a form of subtle control.
The Initiator understands how powerful a few carefully selected words can force a sale, cause division among adults and children and destroy any hope of coordination of unified efforts to a single path of progress.
It comes as no surprise these initiators are also chief purveyors of scripted, plotted "reality TV shows" that seek to demean and degrade those they control. The enticement is money. Offer the enablers enough money and their decades of conditioning to sales and marketing operatives naturally tempers their good judgment and their sense of self-respect.
It becomes generational once the first bad example is copied by children whose only role model have been adults who buy anything and do anything for love of the almighty dollar.
Survival of the Fittest? Or, the Most Chaotic?
Interestingly enough, the recent spate of "reality" programming alludes to "survival of the fittest." Follow a script, the director and producer and anyone can appear to be a survivor. With one unfortunate caveat missing: lack of reality. Take a few individuals whose lives are lived amid utter chaos, devoid of any sense of responsibility or rationality, and living like a Neanderthal with a pinata full of million dollar bills is a reality. Is it? Or, is it just more chaos added to the landfills of chaos the world has become? Think about the definition of "programming" and you see the inclination to mass brain washing clearly.
The joke is that these same "survivor" individuals on the hottest summer day of the year are the first to complain when the AC malfunctions. These are the same individuals who fret over the lack of an endless supply of luxuries to which their chaotic lives are accustomed. Don't wonder why the present generation of children of these individuals are whiny and intolerant to the point of violence when their every desire goes unsated.
Raising Children to Survive
It takes today's parents a bit of ingenuity to figure out how to raise children who will survive their own inevitable futures, with all of its omnipresent dangers. Savvy parents know allowing children to make decisions at an early age teaches them responsibility for their decisions. Yet too often, these parents forget to teach children about real, bone chilling hardship.
This is proven by the recent spate of natural disasters that have occurred. Older adults accustomed to lack of electricity, heat, hot water or other creature comforts quickly too charge of their situation, while younger adults screamed to the heavens about the lack of electricity and other creature comforts.
These natural disasters were an opportunity for parents and children to learn, firsthand, how to meet life's challenges with ingenuity and a positive attitude.
Children are born adventurers, often to their parent's dismay. They instinctively know how to adapt. Think about this. When natural disasters have occurred in the past, often creating a generation of orphans, orphans didn't shrink from their instinct to adapt.
Children can learn to block out the chaos in the world by learning to love silence. Silence is an important part of learning to "hear" creative inspiration that goes unheard with ever present noise and cacophony.
Children can learn survival skills by experiencing life at its simplest. Take a child camping and they indulge themselves in nature in a surprising way. This is their survival instinct at its deepest level. It emphasizes "need" rather than "want" as the best example of learning to live simply so that others may simply live.
Today's parents cannot know what lies ahead for their children. They can teach their children strong survival skills by allowing them to experience life at its simplest.