My growing despair over today’s children

  • This normally tranquil area of John Smith’s Bay was turned into a war zone during National Heroes Weekend (File photograph Akil Simmons)

    This normally tranquil area of John Smith’s Bay was turned into a war zone during National Heroes Weekend (File photograph Akil Simmons)

Dear Sir,

Today, we wring our hands in despair as our children, our very offspring run amok, maiming and killing each other with a seeming callousness and lack of feeling — just like in the movies and the computer games they play day in and day out.

We need not act so shocked and amazed at their actions, as they are doing exactly what we have taught them and allowed them to do.

Have we not given them the game machines and the consoles and the TVs and all the other means to completely dull their senses and programme them to accept and be violent?

Have they not become a mirror of ourselves? So stop pretending, parents. We have produced these unfeeling monsters.

Have we not neglected our duty as parents? Have we not given them a model to follow? Do we pretend to not know who their heroes are?

Take off the blinders and ask them who their heroes are and then pretend to be shocked.

We always parrot the saying “there is no parental manual to rear a child”. Wrong! There are several manuals; we are just following the wrong one!

So you don’t believe in the “Book”. Well, that is your prerogative but just examine it as you would examine a book written by the psychologists whose advice you slavishly follow.

They, the psychologists, talk about self-hate. If a person hates himself, then he will hate others and do all manner of evil to others and to himself. And this is quite true.

That “foolish” book the Bible trumpets the opposite of hate. “Love your neighbour as thy self”, which really says to “love yourself and you will love your neighbour”.

Fathers, drive not your children to anger. Bring up a child in the way he should go, and he will not depart from it. Yes, there is an instruction manual, but we choose not use it.

The great psychologist of the early 1970s gave advice to parents, which produced a generation of narcissists; a generation of children who fell in love with themselves rather than loving themselves.

How do we stop the rot?

That is a herculean task. With all communications now geared to programming generations of self-indulging, hero-worshipping dysfunctional persons, it is nigh impossible.

However, every journey must start with a simple step and that simple step that society must take is the instruction by the great philosopher who said, “Get wisdom” and that the beginning of wisdom is “a fear of the Lord, our creator”.

“Love your neighbour as you would yourself”.

Parents, teach your children that they have a purpose in life.

Show and tell them that you love them. Instil in them a deep respect for their uniqueness and that of others.

Be an example to them of what you wish them to be and they will learn to do as you do as well as what you say. Examine yourself as you look in the mirror.



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Published Jun 23, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Jun 23, 2020 at 7:58 am)

My growing despair over today’s children

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