I believe that the younger generations have lost their way in the world today.
Not at their own hands or through their own misdirection's.
In fact nothing that they have done at all.
Adults still believing they are the sole influence over the kids rely on traditional methods for coping with certain topics. Well wake up parents there’s a new kid in town.
Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll.
Times have changed.
I can already hear those who believe that kids are just kids saying its always been this way.
If only that was true.
As a kid growing up I didn't know the true meaning of the word suicide. I definitely did not have a class mate who had attempted such a thing. Today by the time they graduate many children have stories of friends no longer alive.
Back to the 80’s
Growing up in the 80's was simpler.
At eleven I recall my friend telling us his parents were getting divorced. This was unheard of. He was considered a freak by the school.
What could be wrong with him?
What was wrong with his parents?
By the time I was fourteen nearly 30% of marriages were failing. That was the year my parents divorced.
If an awkward question was asked the parents would say your too young to know the answer. Nothing more would be said.
Never would we question their answers because we believed they knew what was best. We trusted their knowledge. They held the truth we had no reason to doubt.
Even if we did there was nobody to ask.
If you leave a space or void, it wont be too long before someone or something fills it.
Technology has come to the rescue for our kids. Every unanswered question is now obtainable. Finally, us parents have been caught in our web of lies.
We are now the liars and the internet the truth.
As you start to protest.
As you start to tell me how disinformation is all over the internet.
I say hush for I have evidence.
I bring the following evidence against you.
Father Christmas, the tooth fairy, storks delivering babies and the Easter bunny. All fabrications designed to trick children. Well-crafted and established false truths.
Every parent dread’s the telling of the truth. Yet we are naive to the reality of this time.
Google, Siri, Bixby, Alexa and Cortana are the answers to all the things you didn't want to tell your children. They don't lie, they don't give excuses, they just retrieve data from the information hubs and share it with anyone who asks.
In place of the void the first shall fill.
An Inquisitive child asks you one evening about sex. Not prepared for the answer you resort to the time honored tradition.
Telling the story of the stork delivering babies around the world. It worked for you and your parents and your parents parents.
But your child has heard different rumors from friends. You leave the room to start the dinner. Hey google tell me about sex the child whispers.......
“We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?”
― William Golding, Lord of the Flies
The story continues.
Disclaimer: For the sake of privacy and with the intent of protecting the innocent I have changed the names in this story. The information learnt from this is too valuable not to share. (My daughters friend will be known as Mary and my daughter Shelly.)
Every story has three sides to it, so they say. The two people involved have their versions and then there is the truth.
Broken homes, divorced parents, financial issues or abuse. None of these are in play in this story. The parents are fun loving and supportive of their children. Both graduated college and both are fortunate enough to have jobs that allow them to work from home.
If anything, they should be the poster parents for America.
Following the suicide attempt Mary returned to school that Monday. The parents too embarrassed to openly discuss the matter prayed for the best. The trauma however was too much for Mary. By lunch time her parents had been requested to attend school to collect their daughter.
Reality was thrust upon the parents, this was not something instantly fixable.
The rest of her week was spent visiting a psychiatric facility for a few hours a day as she underwent her evaluation. At the end of the week Mary's parents were informed that their daughter was overly sensitive, but through the right psychiatric help and possibly medications they could help her deal with the harsh reality of life.
As a person who sees the broken society as something in desperate need of changing I cant help but think to myself "why are we fixing the sensitive ones". Maybe the solution is to change the thought process of the bullies and the audience.
The Doctors had instructed Mary's parents to confiscate all electronic devices and not allow any social media interaction. No cell phone, no Facebook, no contact with her school friends, no contact with the outside world what so ever. .
For the first few days this went smoothly. Then came the questions. As Mary's location and status remained off the radar her friends began to text her. No replies were sent.
After being ignored for days her friends took to filling in the gaps themselves. Even my daughter who had been best friends with Mary rationalized it as "Mary being Mary you know how she is".
I started to feel this method the doctors were trying was going to back fire
New year’s Eve arrived and Shelly sat eagerly awaiting the midnight, the ball dropping in time square and the celebrations of welcoming in the new year. At midnight her cell phone lit up like a Christmas tree. As she began to swap messages every now and then she would pause and share. When she was done I mentioned the fact that Mary had not been mentioned. Shelly replied I know but we have given up trying to talk to her she never replies.
After Shelly went to bed, I expressed my concerns about this method.
Surely alienating Mary from all contact would create more stress on the little girl. Even more concerning would be the flood of questions she would receive when she returned.
My wife said that Mary was due back to school Monday so it should sort itself out then.
Two weeks of simply vanishing from the worlds and Monday morning she would have to face her critics and questions. Personally, I didn't have the faith in the professionals as everyone else seemed to have.
But nothing prepared me for what happened that day.