Modern Times - Oldfashioned Children

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Modern Times - Oldfashioned Children

Inlägg av TorsMamma »

Modern Times - Oldfashioned Children

A human being, big or little, must be needed . Being needed is not only--and not even primarily, as I see it--feeling needed emotionally. Being needed means having a task. It is sharing a common mission. It means having a function to fill, where your contribution means something to others. It is being able to say to yourself, " The others are worse off without me ."
Without being needed in a concrete way, demonstrable to us, we humans cannot experience any deeper meaning in life.

Love mitigates meaninglessness, but love cannot compensate it; not fully, nor very far.

If there were even ten people around you days and nights, vowing their love for you incessantly, hugging and embracing and caressing and listening to you--it would not be enough. Probably, you would not even believe them. You must be able to point out something you demonstrably perform, small or large, important or proportionately insignificant, which reaches beyond yourself : ''I am needed. I am part of a common mission. The others would be worse off without me--whether they love me or not!''

Children are not needed, and neither are old people, in a society that separates the family from the production. The elderly are exempt, and the children are being stored for future use.

Every day, every hour, in the world's richest countries, young children attempt suicide. Far too many of them succeed.

Is it lack of love that makes these children wish to die? There are no simple answers to such tragic mysteries. In my understanding, however, the strongest explanation of all would be meaninglessness .

Big Brother's guilt-loaded preaching of love reeks of compensation. In his shortsighted interest of profitability, he created a society where children were not needed, and must not be needed. Their task, if any, was to be happy consumers.

For example, if two day-care children are called in sick one morning, the staff reacts, "Great, two kids fewer." This reaction does not imply meanness and indifference toward children, and neither professional unsuitability. It just shows that these children are not needed at their day-care center. If they were, the reaction would be the opposite. ''Oh my, how on earth are we going to manage, two children short?”

The others are worse off without me is not what these children would be able to tell themselves--which does not exclude their having fun at the day-care center, but that is something else than being needed.

In the industrialized world, we have witnessed a new kind of childhood, a childhood which is unique in the history of humankind. Parents make guest appearances in the children´s world when the parents can and will, instead of starring the children in their own world when the children can and will.

This is an unparalleled childhood paradox.

All new parents, who, according to due child psychology, endow their little child with love and consolation day and night, and do so with everlasting patience, feel that something is wrong here. Their little one does not react with calm and contentment. On the contrary, the protests turn all the more persistent. Often new worries are added instead of the peace everybody was hoping for.

Poor Mom and Dad--what is it they do, or do not do, that results in their little child feeling so obviously ill at ease?

They take parental leave, staying at home in turns--in Sweden for as long as one year--to care for their baby. In so doing, they step out of their own social participation. They leave their Social Sharing . They stay at home because the child, and nothing but the child, gives them the reason to do so.

Thus, the child cannot be part of an existing context. The child cannot join in a reality that worked before. Instead, the child now makes the reality, so to speak. The little baby becomes the axis around which the parents' world hurls.

In this way, a segregated children's world has begun to be constructed within the walls of the home. The parents-on-leave spend their days at home not because it would be essential for them , i. e. for their struggle for existence, but because they have a child.

This the child cannot accept.

Modern times, old-fashioned children…

Paradoxically enough, parental leave initiates children's expulsion from Social Sharing, i.e. from the very struggle for existence, which should be a common family mission. This banishment then continues at day-care centers—those parking lots for kids--and later in school, which in many respects functions as a large-scale day-care center.

Sharp dividing lines are drawn between different categories of people: children by children, the elderly by the elderly, and productive adults by productive adults--in life proper, i.e. the one with the purpose of society's, the ''flock's,'' survival and continuance.

As Big Brother separates production from the family, parents are bound to make guest appearances in their children's world, beyond their struggle for existence, away from their Social Sharing. An unparalleled human paradox comes true. Mutual insecurity follows. For the child, this insecurity might turn catastrophic. Meaninglessness threatens. ''I am not needed here. The others are just as well off without me.''

Perhaps they would be even better off?

If the unhappy mother and the desperate father on leave had had something to accomplish that was essential for them, setting the conditions for the 'flock's' survival to which everybody, the child included, had to adjust, they would have escaped their ''hell''.

In earlier times, parents who had, say, another seven children to mind, 18 cows to milk and a number of acres to plough, hardly complained about the ''hell'' brought on by one single little newborn baby.

Whatever their children lacked, they did not suffer from feelings of meaningslessness.

It is a fact that in the industrial world, parents nowadays often do not know how to deal with their babies and young children. Problems with food, sleep and keeping the child entertained, are plainly enormous. This cannot be because of their stupidity, or their need of parental education. Neither can their commitment be questioned. The reason behind these problems is that our family foundations as we used to live them have been distorted.

The people cannot be blamed, Big Brother! Your Brave New World violated one of the basic human drives: the need for Social Sharing during our daily, joint struggle for existence.

Human ecology has been altered. In the name of profitability, our planet's ecosystem has also been altered; and we all know the serious, maybe lethal, consequences.
Few significant changes in society start from its hierarchial top. The most important ones break through from below, as a result of ordinary people's battles. We cannot expect our top-level politicians to initiate a revolution that would make our children happy, easy-to-handle and hubbly-bubbly. What we can do is refuse to transform society's child-hostile attitude into an everyday-practice ideology, which manifests and justifies our children's deportation from the Social Sharing, and even so within their family.

If we as parents needed our children, and little by little, according to their will and capability, we put them to good use, then we could slowly change a social order that is already shakey.

Let us see how a little two-year-old behaves in his revolutionary battle--literally from the bottom!

Mom is trying to prepare dinner. Little Jonah just clings to her and wants to be carried. An ocean of toys surrounds him, but he could not care less. He is whining, crying and screaming. Mom sighs and swears until she too, bursts into tears. Life is just too much, and she gets absolutely nothing done.

Now, something happens. Determinedly, Mom picks up Jonah and seats him on the kitchen counter next to the stove. She gives him a frankfurter to hold, lifts the skillet in front of him, and politely, she asks him to drop the frankfurter in it.

Little Jonah tosses the frankfurter in the pan. Mom thanks him heartily for helping out.

The effect is instant. And enormous. Jonah is now plain sunshine. He looks at his mother triumphantly. ''See, Mom?'' he would say if he but could. “You need me! Would you have ever managed to fix dinner without me?”

That is it. It is as simple as that for little Jonah to feel needed, to know his worth, to be useful and thereby experience the satisfaction of Social Sharing. He did something that was necessary for the others, i.e. for the joint struggle for existence. This is Social Sharing in practice.

And now, he can take a vacation. He rests and relaxes. Now he plays nicely with his toys. Now they are fun--during his time off!

This is not a complicated thing. The principle is as ancient as humanity itself: allowing the children to take part. Through working as a community, people of all times have learned to know one another, be useful to one another, need one another, and even love one another.

Parents who end up in ''hell'' with their infants and toddlers, do so because instead of Social Sharing, they give their children love and attention; not side by side or a combination of them. Their everyday life is not subject to conditions that were valid before the child was born, catchall conditions, as they should be.

The child is frantically trying to understand the parents' lives--“What are they doing? How do they do it? How can I get in on the act?"--whereas the parents, albeit with the best intentions, insist there is no common family mission. There is no joint struggle for existence. “The only reason we're here is because you were born.”

As little as except briefly, two-year-old Jonah would be content with even more toys, or with having his mother skip the dinner preparation to drive toy cars on the floor with him, as little are infants content with even more ''love'' and attention, more tenderness and consolation, more symbiotically emotional bonding.

The solution, of course, cannot be more indifference. But: Children must be given access to the adult world, and step-by-step, according to their desire and increasing capability, they must be made useful therein.

And this can be done; at least in a small scale--at least in our own homes.

Thus, the Great Revolution could start from the bottom, at the heart of the family unit, with the help of those who already battle constantly: the children.

The Great Revolution will not chase the women back to the kitchen. Nor does it chase them out into the job market away from their children.

The Great Revolution brings work back to the family--the entire family.
Tor 2006
:heart: BB barn från början. Sov sin första 12h natt 5 dagar före 4 mån, Diplomerad SS vid 6 mån

:heart: FTLOC child from the beginning. Slept his first 12 hour night 5 days before 4 months. :heart:
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