MIND ON THE RUN:
Silent Rebuttal: Part II
By Anthony Kovatch, M.D., Pediatric Alliance — Arcadia
“We shape ourselves and our philosophies through observing and understanding the occurrences of the day. If philosophy is, as someone has said ‘disguised autobiography,’ we must live it to write it.”
— Doctor George Sheehan, cardiologist, author, and “guru” of the running movement.
Musical accompaniment: “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds.
……Others view the issues exposed in “A Silent Tragedy” from a different vantage point:
An elementary school music teacher from New Jersey endorses a more sanguine outlook on his students and the Garden State’s school system, which was hit hard by the cutbacks on education imposed by the Christie administration:
I think the article is baloney. If there’s an increase in cases of ‘at risk’ kids it is because teachers and parents care more about how kids are doing these days — when they see kids who are troubled or struggling everyone rushes to help because that is the new standard. The standard 50 years ago was “as long as nobody’s beating or abusing the kids they’ll be just fine” but today people have higher expectations for everyone’s kids, not just their own. My students seem much smarter and emotionally intelligent than I was when I was a kid, and if there’s a kid who is troubled my school invites his/her parents to “early intervention” meetings. There were both good and bad parents 50 years ago and there are still good and bad parents today, although nowadays people are less likely to have children unless they are fully invested in the idea of being a parent — it’s more of a deliberate choice. If anything I think parents, on average, are getting better.
A premedical student at Liberty University sees the world through the eyes of a scientist and researcher, as well as a close relative and wrestling mentor to kids of all ages:
If the author is confident that within the past fifteen years all these psychiatric conditions have increased, then she must be suggesting that parenting has deviated as well. If anything, I have seen an increase in most of the parenting tips she has listed.
I was blessed to grow up surrounded by a host of cousins of different ages; we call ourselves “cuginos” (Italian for cousins). We take great pride in our extended family and this keeps us all grounded. I would suggest that there is a complex cultural factor that needs to be accounted for — not just a parenting one.
Regardless of viewpoint, consensus demands that Generation A takes the bull by the horns and reverses the current trends potentially damaging the future of our youth and our nation. As the old saying goes: “Generals are always fighting the last war.”
The teacher from Virginia believes the school system needs to broaden the definition of education:
Some kids are completely unstable and it’s apparent they need medication along with integrating coping strategies. Some kids simply cannot cope with normal struggles because they haven’t been taught how to. I have felt more and more, especially in the past few years, that we need to integrate social skills into our curriculum. And constantly we say these are things they should be learning at home.
The high school teacher had decided that she herself must take charge of remediating the negative trends she is witnessing:
I’ve always heard the statistic that 1 in 5 people have a mental health condition. That’s not new. I don’t think that it is this generation that is causing the problem. People do not take care of their mental health and never have — it is too stigmatizing. I’m an advocate of teaching about boundaries, mental health, and coping strategies in school, and I do so in my classroom.
It has been my fierce contention for some time that the psychological coping skills of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy should be “imposed” on ALL children as early as middle school — and should be mandated by law. Thus, remove the stigma associated with mental health intervention. After all, as the old joke goes: Twenty percent of the population is mentally ill — the other eighty percent is “nuts”!
Do we not all have mental health issues? Our society must take the responsibility of remediating the ills it created, even though the silent tragedy may have been perpetrated unwittingly and with good intentions.
Let us convince civilization that Socrates was a liar!
The children now love their parents/The parents are proud of their children!