How we drive our children mad

If Britain really does have a youth mental health crisis, it’s not hard to see why

21 March 2015

9:00 AM

21 March 2015

9:00 AM

Mental health is a slippery concept at best and according to the annual prevalence rates given in the latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, people in north America and Europe suffer from an average of about two-and-a-half psychiatric conditions a year. This suggests that either we are all mad or the American Psychiatric Association is mad (though with a shrewd eye to the main chance).

It is hardly surprising then, since the child is father to the adult, that at least 10 per cent of children in Britain suffer from ‘diagnosable mental disorders’, to use a phrase much favoured in the press. Given the way that mental disorders are diagnosed, more or less by checklist, I am surprised that it is so few. Using the right methods, you can get any figure you think of. That is why we should view ‘crises’ in mental health, such as that recently touted, with caution and scepticism.

Nevertheless, casual observation would suggest what surveys have also found, that children in Britain have a more difficult and less attractive existence than children in any other comparable country in Europe. The British seem to be more afraid of their children than any other people known to me; they often seem to shrink from them in the street. Their method of child-rearing — I speak grosso modo, of course — seems to be neglect tempered by overindulgence, with outbursts of exasperation. Never have I seen elsewhere such public shrieking at children by maternal termagants as in Britain. Tenderness towards children is much less in evidence in Britain than in, say, France.

Perhaps it has always been so, for deep cultural reasons. But children nowadays are subjected to new habit-forming pressures that pile Pelion on their Ossa. A high proportion of British children, for example, scarcely ever eat a meal with another member of their family, and so learn to graze, often constantly, in solitary fashion, almost always on junk or prepared foods. A brief survey of the litter in streets that has made Britain the litter-bin of Europe reveals the new truth about the national character, that an Englishman’s street is his dining room. An experiment performed at Feltham Young Offenders’ Institution showed that vitamin supplementation of new prisoners’ meals reduced disciplinary problems very considerably: in other words, they were malnourished when they arrived. This does not reflect very well on British motherhood; and the failure to learn how to eat as a social activity is no small matter. Among other things, the solitary, nasty, British and short manner of eating teaches that the appetite of the moment should be the determinant of whether one eats or not: and since appetite grows with the eating, it is hardly surprising that increased rates of obesity result. Britain is the fat man of Europe.

The pattern of family structure, if that is quite the term for it, is partly responsible for the solipsistic hunter-gatherer (more gatherer than hunter) way of eating in Britain. It used to be said that three-quarters of British children have a television in their bedrooms. If so, there are more children with such televisions than with their biological fathers living at home.

The subject of fatherhood is a sensitive one: in some areas of the country to ask who a child’s father is has become indelicate. More than once when I made enquiry of a youngster as to his father, he replied, ‘Do you mean my father at the moment?’ Not every stepfather is bad, of course; most, indeed, are not. But there is little doubt that serial step-fatherhood is not the ideal arrangement from a child’s point of view.

Tina Nash was a woman whose eyes were put out barehanded by a monster of the name of Shane Jenkin. She had had two children by different fathers when she met Jenkin. In her autobiography, she said that she loved them and I have no doubt that she did, which makes the following story all the more revelatory of an astonishing maternal incompetence that derived not from lack of intelligence, but from a certain Weltanschauung. Her love for her children did not prevent her from leaving them one night in the care of Jenkin, an evident psychopath whom she knew had served four years in prison for causing a man severe brain damage and who spent his time watching videos of the most appalling violence, for instance of men putting women’s eyes out (he had many other terrible characteristics, including that of beating her in front of the children). When she came home from her night out, she went to bed so drunk that when she woke the next day she did not know that she had vomited in her bed. She then went downstairs to find Jenkin having sex with another woman.

Never once did it occur to her that perhaps this was not an ideal introduction to human life for her children, though — I repeat — she genuinely loved them (if she had not, the story would have been less alarming). And though this story is extreme in its content, it is by no means unusual in its form. It is inspiring in its way that so many children emerge from such a background comparatively unscathed; but it is not surprising that many do not. The loss of parental common sense astonishes me.

There are, of course, other difficulties that many children have to face. Anyone who has followed internet commentary after the publication of an article will have noticed how soon and how often those discussions decline into vile insult and abuse, not only or even principally of the author of the article, but of the other contributors to the commentary; and if this is the use that supposedly mature adults make of their ability to communicate their thoughts to the world, it is hardly surprising that immature young people follow suit and take what is written about them deeply to heart.

In other words, most of the emotional turmoil of young people, which is said to have increased dramatically in recent years, is the consequence not of genuine illness as diagnosed by mechanical checklists but of the way we live and bring up children, of the pressures put upon them and the values we espouse and communicate to them. To expect psychiatrists to undo the damage we inflict is flattering to their self-importance and supposed powers, and of course an employment opportunity, but it is unrealistic and harmful in its cultural effect, for it amounts to an evasion. In practice, it will probably lead to the mass drugging of children.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Theodore Dalrymple’s Admirable Evasions: How Psychology Undermines Morality is published this week.

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  • Diggery Whiggery

    In no other country has the state intervened to such a degree, to take power away from parents to give it to children.

    In no other country do civil servants, teachers etc have to assume that child abuse is the explanation for injury or behavioral changes, thus applying the precautionary principle and safe-guarding their career.

    In no other country do you feel under constant parental surveillance.

    In no other country would you have people staring in self-satisfied judgment at a mother smacking her naughty child. In most countries, smacking a naughty child is completely normal and no-one equates this to beating a child.

    In no other country do you have large numbers of people who just don’t want to have to suffer the presence of other people’s children.

    In no other country would they stigmatize their children as lazy and feckless.

    Britain has become a selfish and shortsighted country. No society that hates its own children will survive very long.

    • Molly NooNar

      “In no other country has the state intervened to such a degree, to take power away from parents to give it to children.”

      What is the evidence for this?

      Of course I can’t help but observe that children are not the property of a parent. The state has a duty to ensure that children, as citizens, deserve the same protections and freedoms as the rest of society. The way children are defined in this country by some borders on slavery.

      Slavery: the state or condition of being a slave; a civil relationship whereby one person has absolute power over another and controls his life, liberty, and fortune.

      • Ivan Ewan

        The vast majority of parents in this country don’t kill their children.

        Children are legally considered the responsibility of their parents, and if a child commits a crime, it is the adult who risks imprisonment and the reposession of the child by the state. Parents who set limits on their children’s behaviour are safeguarding their liberty.

        Children don’t have fortunes that aren’t bestowed upon them by their parents.

        So the only remaining question is, who’s this “some” you speak of?

      • WFC

        Children are not “citizens”, nor are they entitled to the “same protections and freedoms as the rest of society”. (They are not entitled (for example) to be charged, prosecuted and tried by a jury, before being deprived of their liberty by being sent to their rooms.)

        Nor, otoh, are they slaves.

        They are children, not responsible adults. And their parents are responsible for their upbringing and behaviour. When the state interferes, it exercises power without responsibility.

        • Molly NooNar

          If they’re not citizens what are they? Half citizens? Children are citizens, they have rights and freedoms defined in law. Almost every country in the world has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child recognising this.

          • WFC

            They’re children.

            They have such rights as are consistent with being children, but they have no responsibilities.

            Citizens have rights and responsibilities.

          • Molly NooNar

            Children do have responsibilities, to follow the law of the land the same as every other citizen. Contrary to your belief, human rights extend to all humans.

          • WFC

            Children aren’t even responsible for following the law of the land, until they reach certain ages.

            They are children! Not “little adults”.

          • Molly NooNar

            Actually, yes, they are. They are criminally responsible at aged 10 (thanks to Tory and Labour reforms), plus they can be subject to a whole range of social control orders if they are under 10 ASBOs, curfews, various kinds of behaviour contracts etc. It seems they do have responsibilities.

          • WFC

            I accept that the “progressives” (of L1bLabC0n) are doing their best to abolish the very concept of childhood, but I see no reason to surrender to such neo-medieval aspirations.

            Children are children. Not responsible for themselves, not little adults, not capable of making “lifestyle choices” involving sexual activity with large numbers of adult muslims, not capable of going to Syria without extensive hand-wringing BBC hyperbole, not citizens.

            They are children!

          • WFC

            I would also add that:

            Children cannot own property
            Children cannot enter into binding contracts, except in very limited circumstances
            Children cannot bring court proceedings, unless through an adult “next friend”
            If a child doesn’t go to school, it is the parent who is held responsible
            If a child breaks something, it is the parent who is liable to compensate the owner.

            Yes I agree that “flogger” Blair didn’t “get” childhood – removing the presumption (from 10 to 14) of doli incapax, and introducing the concept of criminal (and pretendy-contractual) responsibility to childhood, in much the same way that the people of Hartlepool introduced the concept of criminal responsibility to monkeys – but what you have to understand about Blair is that … well … he’s a bit thick.

          • Neil Saunders

            What did Blair get, except obscenely rich?

          • msmischief

            In other words, under ten they are treated completely differently.

          • Neil Saunders

            This is where the language of rights (favoured by those of a more legalistic than ethically-based cast of mind) comes off the rails. If you like, children have rights as adults in potentia, but not as children per se; on the other hand, adults have a duty of care and protection (i.e. a responsibility) towards children.

          • WFC

            A very good way of putting it.

  • lemonlimetime

    My late Italian father believed that women in England treated their children as though they were dogs – thinking nothing of beating and berating them in public places. I am glad to have had the influence of a ‘foreign’ father; although at times I was jealous of the “matey” relationship my friends had with their fathers, my father. for all his faults, expressed love unlike any Englishman.

    • global city

      That’s racist….for some, undefined, reason.

      • Dodgy Geezer

        Probably also pedophilic….shall I get the mob?

    • Callipygian

      I’m English, and I wouldn’t beat or berate my dog, in public or in any place. My dog is my child. Now what?

      • A_N_Archic

        Does it play video games?

  • cartimandua

    Its not parenting TD it is the total environment from ubiquitous mass media to constant assessment from the time they set foot in any nursery.
    Its the idea that we can somehow win against countries in the world who routinely abuse their children to make them succeed in schooling. That’s all the tiger economies.
    The other day I spoke to a Chinese Mother looking at schools for her child. I asked her why. “Its the pressure on children, its the pressure”.
    We have been in a financial hell. In that hell parents have had to work long hours, or two jobs ,or alternate shifts to keep a roof and buy some food.
    Since we pay into the EU it takes the biscuit to be told that less stressed parents who do not face heinous University bills are “better parents”.
    There is a hierarchy of needs. Food and shelter tops the list.

    • grammarschoolman

      Good old British anti-intellectualism strikes again. Assessment is the only way of caring for children, because education is the only thing that matters. The rest is sentimentality and trivia.

      • cartimandua

        That’s nonsense. We now have a prescribed curriculum which is utter rubbish. It is broad “busy” yet leaves students little to no “free ” time to read widely (while still expecting that they do.)
        We now “test” children more than at any time in our history.
        Teachers work to the tests and teach to the test THAT is anti intellectualism.
        And no education is not the only thing that matters which is why the tiger economies have such rotten mental health in children and adults.

        One aspect of tiger-parenting is setting enormously high and unreasonable expectations for your kids,” said Stephen Chen, a former graduate student in Zhou’s lab who is headed for an assistant professorship at Wellesley College in fall 2014. Data from a recent study he conducted with UC Berkeley psychologist Sheri Johnson suggests there are negative cognitive effects to having overly demanding goals, he said.”

        “Based on the 2014 Annual Report on China Education, also known as the Blue Book of Education, majority of the teenagers who committed suicide are in middle school, and they killed themselves primarily because they cannot stand the heavy pressure brought by the test-oriented school system in the country.”

        • grammarschoolman

          Only if the test itself is poor. I’d try thinking a bit before you trot out cliches – that’s anti-intellectual.

          The more rigorous the test, the more teaching to it is a good thing. The more knowledge the test requires, the more knowledge it allows you to teach.

          The problem was in the past when teachers were teaching to easy tests, or, worse still, teaching to C-grades, and deliberately limiting their students, rather than in the more rigorous, knowledge-rich present and, hopefully, future.

          Presumably, by the way, if you think we test children too much, you’re all for the abolition of AS levels?

          • cartimandua

            Listen you patronizing git I know a lot more than you do about child and adolescent mental health. My training took 7 years after an initial 4 year degree and then I worked for 35 years in… child mental health.
            The evidence is in. Academic pressure throughout childhoods does not produce healthy individuals capable of thinking, learning or creative innovation.
            I am also married to a current University lecturer and let me tell you the nationalities famously “good at exams” are utterly useless post grads and even as undergrads they are not much good.
            They churn it out rather than thinking.
            My late Father was famous for being a true polymath. He went to a well known day school and then Oxford.
            He wasn’t set tests on a stupid curriculum all through his school days.
            Students now have to cope with massive amounts of detail on bitty “topics” which put nothing in context. They don’t put history or literature into context until University.
            There is a problem if you don’t know A lead to B and then to C.
            Mass media wants everything to be year zero.

          • grammarschoolman

            Dear, dear, dear. Getting all angry doesn’t make you any less wrong.

            Knowledge is the only thing that leads to creativity. Ask Shakespeare. Ask Leonardo. Ask Beethoven. More to the point, ask Willingham and Hirsch.

          • cartimandua

            But it isn’t knowledge now. The education establishment now teaches politically correct anti British “topics” such as how we were “uniquely” responsible for the slave trade.
            Not only are children’s basic emotional needs ignored as their parents work the longest hours in Europe. They are subjected to endless testing at every stage.
            And no the tests are not “useful” at all.
            And no I was not “angry” because I called you a patronizing git.
            That was just a statement of fact.

          • Rusty

            Dalrymple refers to lack of civility in online comments in his article.

          • Epidermoid

            Yes, it is depressing that someone who works with children sets such a poor example.

      • Neil Saunders

        There is anti-intellectualism in Britain (although neither old nor good); most of it emanates from the puffed-up dullards in the “education” establishment, who are obsessed with measurement, targets and general box-ticking.

        • A_N_Archic

          Probably reading you will do it.

          • Neil Saunders

            Quite the wit, aren’t we?

  • David Prentice

    In practice, it will probably lead to the mass drugging of children.

  • Infidelissima

    Compared to other Europeans, the British are shockingly cold and distant towards their children.
    Sending them off to boarding school at a young age, is cruel and selfish.
    The saying ‘children should be seen and not heard’,will turn any loud happy kid, into a frightened introvert.
    Restaurants in France, Italy, Spain, etc are always filled with families, including children, while here you’d get dirty looks if you’d dare to take your little one.
    I take my children everywhere, they behave well, for the most part, whoever doesn’t like it, can stuff it.

    • cartimandua

      So sometimes your children behave like brats and ruin other peoples special nights out.. nice. A bit selfish??? The rest of your comment is nothing like the reality now here in the UK.

      • Infidelissima

        I don’t take my children out at night, as kids need their sleep and an evening routine. I take them out for brunch or lunch, during weekends. That’s what my parents did with us, and I don’t care about the other people.
        And my children do not behave like brats, but you just underlined why some think Brits make lousy parents, by insulting kids you don’t even know. Miserable fool.

        p.s: Rotherham would have never gone on for years and years and years, in Spain!

        • ianess

          I have lived and worked in Continental Europe and have noted the numerous families dining out. I have also observed that the children, without exception, behaved immaculately. This is in direct contrast to the UK where the sight of children in a restaurant induces a shudder for the simple reason that their irresponsible, selfish parents make no effort to control the behaviour of their offspring. Stating that your children ‘behave well, for the most part’ does not sound too convincing. What does ‘for the most part’ mean in practice? Only minor outbursts of screaming and rampaging around the restaurant?

          • Infidelissima

            My children know better than to ‘rampage’ around a restaurant, and if they become too loud, I reprimand them and they lower their volume or else.
            When British people say ‘behave well, for the most part’, they assume it’s kids running wild around a restaurant throwing food and sticking forks into other diners’ eyes, because that is their own bad parenting projection, and hysterical conclusions. As soon as most british diners see a child entering the premises of a restaurant, or like m myself, just tell them that I take my kids, they immediately judge, jump to conclusions, huff and puff and snark, complain, even insult.
            For this reason I believe british parents are some of the worst in Europe. They indeed treat dogs better than children.

          • Michael990

            “or else.”
            Or else what? We English are not allowed to enforce any effective sanction regarding our children’s behaviour

          • A_N_Archic

            990’s just itching to get out the big stick.

    • Callipygian

      Is this a joke? Which century are you pretending to live in? Not many children in Britain are sent off to boarding school. Quite frankly, I wish I had been, considering that my family was broken and I cannot stand my mother.

      • Infidelissima

        I’m sorry about your family situation, I don’t even know you, but somehow I have the feeling you’re probably still, a more well rounded person than the ones I know who saw their mothers 4 times a year, and were told to be quiet all the time. The ones I know who were sent off to boarding school at a young age, all (without exception) have a few screws loose. And they’re all in their 40’s and 50’s, so yes, last century indeed.

        • rob232

          As a child I lived in the US. As my mum was English we knew other English people and so it was no surprise on arriving in Britain in the sixties to find that children were generally treated badly. Families in the US were large and that in itself horrified most people in England. I moved to Spain as a young man where my own children were raised. My impression was always that children were considered second class citizens in Britain. Has that changed? I remember the case of the little girl who was kidnapped in Portugal. In Spain children go out with their families in the evening when on holiday. I can’t imagine leaving them alone at seven o’clock at night as these children were. My impression is that children are still not so well treated in the UK.

          • Infidelissima

            that comparison really send shivers down my spine. We also take our children out to dinner when on holiday and never dreamed of leaving them alone in a hotel room.
            Having said that, I would not judge, as I would not wish such a tragic nightmare on any parent.

          • Deb

            In my opinion you are wrong but of course there are always exceptions. You can’t possibly judge an entire country’s treatment of their children based on the McCann case (I agree, they shouldn’t have been left alone). I’m not sure what you witnessed in the 60s, but in my experience of raising my kids in the UK over the past 16 years, I find children are treated very well–sometimes over-indulged. The children I know here have grown into thoughful, kind young adults. Bad parenting happens everywhere. I’ve seen much more good parenting here than bad.

          • rob232

            Well I was a child in the US and then a child in the UK. I could wax lyrically for hours about the difference between the two countries but I and my siblings and even other children of our age who had made the same change would tell you that people were very hard on kids. Not only the corporal punishment inflicted in schools, not getting enough to eat, how common it was for adults to treat children with great rudeness. People didn’t treat kids as if they were important. The point of my mentioning the Portugal kidnapping is not to blame anyone but it illustrate the difference between Britain and other countries. When I go to resortsin Spain in the summer families are out and together until late at night. The children form part of the family and their happiness is considered important. In Britain the attitude is quite different. The child should be in bed and not bothering adults. It was like that when I was a kid and the Portugese story makes me believe that things haven’t changed. (And even if they have changed it’s only a small change from the norm children should be seen and not heard)

          • Deb

            And where do you live now Rob232? My point was based on my experience which I believe is more recent than yours. Of course you can believe what you like. I grew up in the States but raised my kids here. I am old enough to have lived in the era of ‘seen but not heard’. That was my childhood–in the US! There was certainly a period in UK history when children were marginalized and corporal punishment in schools was rampant. This is simply not true of Britain today. The health and safety police are in full force today. Parents, if anything, are a bit overindulgent, but with the best intentions.

          • rob232

            I’ve lived in Spain most of my adult life and this where my wife and I had a family and brought up our children. It is almost cliche that the British don’t like children and perhaps as you point out things have changed as have so many things in the UK. As I mentioned before what really made me suspect that things have carried on in the same vein was that in the holiday resort in Portugal where the little girl was kidnapped, it was considered so normal amongst the British tourists,all professional middle class people to put them to sleep early in the evening and then leave them whilst the parents amused themselves. I’m not trying to blame anyone for what happened but only point out that as I have lived in the UK such behavior doesn’t surprise me whereas here in Spain it was considered unbelievable.

          • RobertC

            What struck with the McCann’s is that they were used to living in the ‘NHS village’, where there was a good degree of trust (between the employees at least) and safe areas.

            They were not used to checking everything out, all the time.

          • A_N_Archic

            Where’s “here”? You do check-up around the country like a roving Mary Poppins?

          • Louise

            Does the O.P.?

    • Deb

      Your comments are based on stereotypes and have nothing to do with
      present reality. Very few British kids go off to boarding school– they
      cant afford it. And as for the expression “to be seen and not
      heard”…what decade are you referring to? British kids have no
      inhibitions about self expression. I’m American, married to a Brit and
      have lived in the UK for 15 years, raising my kids here. When they were
      little I took them out all the time to pubs and restaurants with no
      problem. They were taught from a very young age to behave in public and
      if they were tired or fitful, they were simply taken home.
      British friends have raised their children with lots of love and
      acceptance. I’ve witnessed this. I think this article and your comments
      are ill founded.

      • Infidelissima

        sounds good to me
        In all fairness, I am not speaking about the kids of my generation, but about my generation itself. I should have expressed myself better.

      • RobertC

        Thank you Deb!

        When a child, I took ‘children should be seen and not heard’ as good advice (sometimes): I found, when I kept quiet, adults sort of forgot I was there and would talk about adult stuff. In those days it was about family finances, planning holidays, village gossip, all those things that, when composted over a number of years becomes wisdom.

        I wouldn’t have missed it for the world! 🙂

        • Deb

          Good point. I also appreciated those times when my presence was forgotten. The great gossip we heard….

    • rtj1211

      I agree with you, but it would be far too sensible to also have a few restaurants etc where it is agreed that it is adult only, so that those wishing to spend a few hours away from children can do so happily and without guilt.

  • trace9

    I rattle in a room all day
    Or so it seems.
    I’m left such puny time to play
    Or so it seems.
    I view life through computer screens
    Or so it seems.
    I thought, once, with a Muse off Dreams
    & Then, was weaned..

  • cartimandua

    Only a few years ago we taught children history which was mostly British and taught in a linear fashion. Now they are taught everyone’s history and all of it taught in no particular order in “topics”. They are also mostly taught that every ill is the fault of white westerners.

  • TheCore

    Does anyone else suspect that a fair amount of these problems stem from the sort of government legislation and activities that seem to be designed to break the traditional family unit? To drive people apart with a mutual animosity brought about by a set of problems with a third party,to prevent as many parents as possible from being willing and able to teach their children to think for themselves,to establish a moral compass separate from what the lying media and politicians want them to have,lest they one day grow to be able of questioning what is an extremely questionable status quo?

  • Paddy S

    I can say that many English people take their children to Ireland and raise them here – just for a better lifestyle. I think the chaos of the effects of liberal social policies from the state and society there (which is much worse than in Ireland) is a prime reason for the fact many live here. Another is the chaos caused by many adults who seem to think their happiness is worth more than their kids. Another (and I know trolls will give it to me in neck) is the influence of religion and constraining negative behaviour and helping mental health which believe it or not it actually does…. Ask yourself who is more likely to self harm the religious kids or secular kids?

    • inglese in italia

      You have hit the nail on the head. Here in Italy parents will take the shirts off their backs to help their children. People know that the duty of a good parent is the well being of the children which is more important than the parents transitory happiness. Italian parents are happy when their children are happy.

  • Zed largo

    There are many very questionable elements in this article, but the standout one is that the author does not make any attempt to link upbringing with the diagnosable conditions of mental illness: he says that the emotional turmoil experienced by children is a consequence not of illness but upbringing. But, it is almost beyond doubt that the emotional turmoil of mental illness is intrinsically linked with upbringing. It is difficulties in family psychodynamics and attachment styles that create the very conditions out of which mental illness grows. Problems with emotional regulation are linked with anxiety, depression and grief, and these conditions are often rooted in poor parenting. As the article suggests, it is not that parents have a deficit of good intentions, but they do not know how to convert those intentions into action. In general, good parenting behaviour is taught by good parents, and bad parenting behaviour comes of being badly parented. Parents who were neglected, abused or both in their own childhood, will pass on that neglect and abuse to their own children unless they have external help and support. Educating parents is fundamental to improving childhood mental health. But, of course, developmental psychology is a threat to safe political and social agendas and so is ignored. Of all the issues currently facing the healthcare institutions in the UK it is the declining mental health of the population that is the most important, and yet is the most avoided. And the reason: science knows almost nothing about the mind and so the treatment of mental illness cannot be controlled and regulated by the evidence-based establishment, and what it can’t control it denies.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    In police state UK with social services running interference, children are a liability. So if you want kids, time to fly the UK coop.

  • mrsjosephinehydehartley

    At first glance this piece struck me as probably written in the 1960’s. Not a mention of GTA 5 or other places where modern kids inhabit ie places where one can play at getting away with all sorts of incorrigible freedoms, since one can never actually die.

  • York Aptain Sidney Field

    In a related video — even more evidence of the serious lies told by Obama’s regime about the situation in Syria: http://bit.ly/1sUNHCU

  • Family life has lost its shrink wrap – the security and safety which parents should provide through family values, boundaries and being availabe and consistent. We can blame digital communication and all its influences and distractions or materialism and our “Need it and want it now” culture but these are the very issues we need to learn to manage and teach our children by role modelling to them how it’s done. If adults can’t take responsibility for their actions and be emotionally intelligent then we just feed anxiety to our children which eventually affects their mental health and wellbeing. Time for us parents to step up to the plate and take a preventative approach.

  • Approximately 17-20% of the population suffers from dyslexia and roughly the same amount from dyscalculia, which is the inability to process numbers. About 10% are afflicted by an attention deficit disorder, which is the inability to direct ones thoughts automatically and emotions reasonably consciously. Researchers estimate that about 40% of this ten percent of the population are addicts. Take your choice: booze, drugs, sex, work, gambling anything that gives a boost!

    I have worked professionally with children and socially disadvantaged young people for 40 years. After developing or finding measurable solutions that overcome these 3 plagues, I have come to the conclusion that these often gallant and decent people form the underclass of our society.

    It is in our nature that when we cannot experience success and recognition conventionally,we will often seek it elsewhere in other circles – and all too often in
    criminal circles. This, I think, is one main aspect of the structure of the criminal
    class; see “Prevalence of Dyslexia amongst Texas Prisoners” http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/10876375 as a “pointer.”

    The shifting sands of society from fast food to fast marriages and non-stop
    entertainment are the earth on which these struggling travelers try to move
    along on. We, the non-tormented, live on another planet.