Friday, 19 September 2008
WE GET THE KIDS WE DESERVE????
I've had to put this wonderful pic of my big son up, well it's wonderful in my eyes! Cause tomorrow he's 23 yrs old, So Happy Birthday him! Plus he's now got a place to live in London, so he will be leaving home again in 10 days.
I've been working hard in the last few weeks that he's been around, not to think of it, as him having moved back. I've maintained he's just on holiday in my head. Cause if I'd gone anywhere else then the empty nest stuff will be getting me on the 30th!
Whilst he's been at home, we have been doing a fair bit of talking about our futures and how we are going to support ourselves/and/or each other. Which has been lovely as he has such a generous attitude to looking after me. Even though I do not expect or want him to, unless I fall on hard times at any rate. But it has made me appreciate how caring and loving he is towards me.
I am very proud of both of my sons, for who they are as people (even the youngest with attitude!!) They both display a compassion and understanding way beyond their years and they always have done.
And nowadays I can own that they may well have inherited that, but also they have it cause of the way I've brought them up. Saying this echoes my being able to own that I am ok and worthy as a person. And false modesty isn't going to get me anywhere!!!
In the bigger picture , however, I do think kids are getting a rough deal of it. This morning they were talking on the radio, about how the number of parents who make the time to sit with their children and read aloud to them has shrunk considerably from when my boys were little.
Which I think is really sad, it was one of the best bits of the day when they were snuggly in their PJs and sitting cuddled up either on the sofa or with them snuggled down the bed with me sitting on it reading aloud to them before they went to sleep.
Fewer and fewer children get to sit as a family round a table with their parents to eat their meals. It is a loved tradition in this house to eat together, it has always been the time of day for talking over the days events. And Sunday lunch is just the best bit of the week. I love the whole deal from preparing the food, eating it and clearing it away together afterwards. Although now having the dishwasher is a bonus for all!!
Of course it could be argued that my children have had a privileged existence. I would agree that they have been brought up in a middle class lifestyle. But I have brought them up on my own since they were 9 and 3. They have no grandparents alive that have taken any interest in them. They have only one Auntie who has bothered with them, even though they have three on their father's side. They haven't seen their father, except once for 4 hours, in the last 11 years. And the eldest went to Cambridge because he's really clever
There was another programme on the radio today, about how many children and young people are suffering from mental health issues. And how completely useless nationwide services are. Obviously there are pockets of outstanding care all over the place. But generally the provision is abysmal, particularly for anyone between the age of 16 and 20..
There needs to be a specialist service set up by the government that allows access to this age group to non threatening and useful care. One in which their special needs because of the age group is taken into account.
Self harm is on the increase, drug abuse is on the increase, alcohol abuse is on the increase, stress and anxiety are on the increase, depression is on the increase.
Admittedly these things are on the increase in the whole population, as our society struggles more and more in today's world.
But if we as a society want to decrease the mental health budget in this country then we need to move massively into preventative care. And not leave it till the problems become entrenched and subsequently more difficult to deal with as people become ever more stuck in their mental health problems
There is so much talk every time exam results are published about how the exams are getting easier than in whomever's day. They haven't they are just different. It doesn't equip anyone in today's society to know when the Battle of Hastings was (1066!) or even where the Battle of Hastings took place (which was at a place called Battle a few miles away from Hastings!)
What matters is that these young people can cope with the pressures that society puts on them, whether that's how to be effective in ICT, or English/Maths or in my opinion how to learn to communicate effectively about how they feel.
Surely the day of the British stiff upper lip is and should be over. There is nothing useful about being proud of not dealing with our feelings. And if we teach kids to communicate at a young enough age and not be ashamed of having their feelings then we are making a step in the right direction.
Ultimately it will put me out of work.... but that if it means that people are not suffering with mental distress it is surely a good thing.
The family needs to sort itself out, priorities need attending to.
Schools need to sort themselves out, priorities need attending to.
No wonder there is a gang culture, all kids need to belong, and if the parents don't provide that, then their mates will. And we get the society we deserve.