Thursday, 18 February 2010

Socially Acceptable Forms of Abuse, 4: Boarding Schools.

This blog discusses boarding schools and is continued from the previous blog:

Let`s look at the way children are typically treated and regarded in society as a default:

Children are treated from an early age, at least to some degree, as if they should be controlled and broken in, tamed into behaving suitably.This belief can even underpin the family life of loving, generally caring parents. Children are taken to nursery even if the child is caused to be desperately distressed, they are weened off breast milk prematurely because continuation is seen as giving in to their demands and being over indulgent. Generally, children are often subjected to lessons in life that are centred around some notion that kids need to be treated harshly in order to toughen them up (!!!!) and they need to be threatened and punished in order to make them behave.

This misregard for children is not only practised by the masses, it is reinforced by the system. Because most people are treated this way as they grow up, they instinctively treat the children around them in the same way. Many people don`t think that children will behave correctly if they are given too much respect, that they will not detach from parents and family in their own good time without being forced to do so, and that they wont learn unless they are compelled to do it. This notion is of course Victorian, and fits well with child labour and canings in school and a harsher, more severe lifestyle. So why do we still believe it?

The answer is that parents are typically brought up this way and simply don`t often question their behaviour. Other parents do the same, the same attitude exists in schools and there are just very few enlightened or introspective people who relate to children as equals. The result is that a conditioning exists that says it is okay to treat children in this way and the huge numbers of people who are conditioned determine that these attitudes are acceptable .

When we come to consider whether boarding schools for young children are a form of abuse, we are already up against a brain-washed mainstream that believes that raising children is all about disregarding their feelings and their rights and that forcing a child to detach is a "cruel to be kind" gesture of love. In so many ways the fact that families in home education are more likely to respect their children and attune themselves to the needs of the child, frightens people who know deep down that they pursue a "force the child to do it, and it`ll be good for the child in the end" method.

So we saw in a documentary recently how parents, and school staff involved in the rejection process young children have to go through, were desperately trying to find justifications for knowingly being cruel to their children. The child`s rejection would benefit the child in the end, so the whole thing is worth doing, approach. The very idea that non- disciplinary nurturing of a child can make a confident, independent child and that non-coercive learning also produces well educated, examination-replete, intellectually adept young people, without all the cruelty and the disrespect, seriously frightens people because it destroys their floundering justifications for treating their children the way they do.

In Part 3 of this blog I want to go on to cogitate the real cause of indiscipline in children and the benefits of not following the pack.

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