Where has childhood gone?
Where oh where is childhood? What does childhood mean? What have we done in the safe western world to our children, that they no longer are allowed to be children? The concept of childhood, cossetted, protected, given everything, encouraged to grow up and mature so quickly. Yet their innocence, rather than being in the majority taken by predators, is corrupted in the home by abusive adults then by the abuses of disallowing their childhood by subtle means.
The TV, internet, (instagram, youtube et al )gaming, their music idols and networking allows them a presentation of a pseudo-adult world that belittles any childish existence and robs it of its validity.
This is not surprising as childish behaviour in adults is seen perhaps as the lowest form of behaviour, or as a weakness or something to belittle. We do not respect the child in ourselves so how can we truly respect our children and their childhood. Oh yes we throw up legal protection and talk about safeguarding children, but this is not from a love of childhood but a fear of ourselves.
That can’t be so I hear you cry, but look at the top game son X box in the main they are about killing and battle adventures. These are not childish play, this is not childhood, but presentations of cold unfeeling violence, theft, hatred, and any other vice you care to name. My son was adamant in his teens that kids knew these were not real and so were not influenced. However, it is as subtle a brainwashing as the way “problems” in maths were presented in early twentieth century text books that belittled people of non european racial backgrounds or others in the lower socio economic order.
Now of course much of what I am saying is about an idealised childhood and for many their childhood can not be a good memory, but childhood today seems to end too early, at 8 or 9 rather than early teens. The expectations then are too high and we wonder at the mental health pressures on our children.
Girls and boys
Its both girls and boys who are presented with early sexualisation , a drive for personal gratification and the subtleties of the pursuit of violence. Instagram, and reality TV presents things to children far from reality.
May background in psychology has made me interested in the subtleties of marketing. I have become even more aware of the way alpha brainwaves are induced and how they are used to create trance states in which our unconscious minds can be influenced.
Then what of our daughters, sisters, mothers, whose mothers and grandmothers struggled to create a more equitable place in the world for them and where by the age of 13 that place is being offered in a totally remolded form.
We need to re respect children and childhood, we need to know it and understand it in ourselves, my worry is for many of us childhood was so traumatic we are trying to remove it everywhere we find it. There is so much more to say on this subject.