This is a compilation of 3 comments shared in The Guardian, Sept. 3rd 2016, in a discussion about anger management, related to an article presented by Nicola Skinner. The topic is parents losing it with their kids and kids losing respect for their parents.
My Dutch view was praised, some commenters felt happily surprised and thankful for a view from outside their English way of life. I am Dutch and I live in the UK now. Many UK residents know what the issues are, but they don’t know how/choose to act on it. The complacency, aloofness and often cynical and self-depricating stance in life is something that is unknown to me. Unknown to my true nature.
Here’s what I published:
As a Dutch born global citizen, I’m amazed by the lack of education in many English residents, parents and people of all ages, not aware and not realizing that when feelings arise, such as resentment and anger, that this is our own creation. We are triggered to enter that state. I didn’t know that when I was younger, to be honest. Do we learn about managing our emotional life? I don’t think so, we learn by trial and error, mainly.
Anger, or any uncomfortable feeling isn’t caused by another person or a child’s behavior, obstinate and avoiding co-operation. I’ve worked as a childminder since the 80’s and I’ve seen the changes happening in many family homes. With parents, gradually losing their natural authority over their kids. Their ability to be guides.
Not because they wanted to lose it, but because of the fast pace of life, the pressure of work and the increase of distraction with all sorts of toys, devices, gaming, internet and tv. A greed for always wanting more, a need for distration of discomfort, which is at the root of depression, as I perceive it.
The use of common sense, taking the time to sit down and sort things out, with oneself and, as parent, with the kids, seems to become a thing from the past. It requires vulnerabilty in honesty and listening. Oh my….!!!
Kids know, they’re intelligent, they can tell exactly how they want their parents to BE with them and express in words and eyes what they need. They copy the behavior of parents and adults in their lives. The body language of children doesn’t lie, they’re innocent from the start and they’re at the start of their life, fast growing out of it when parents ignore them, moving into survival mode, a defense of obstinacy.
It’s not the fault of a child seeing their more or less burnt out parents with their attention on the screen, tired with a headache, drowning sorrow in beer or wodka, angry for having to live up to standards that are comparable to slavery. That’s what we’ve become really, 9-5 working slaves, 24-7 with deadlines to be reached.
A child knows exactly how to push the buttons of adults who try to bully them into subservience. I’ve noticed that hierarchy in the workplace and abuse of power, by violent communication in shops or restaurants, is a daily life practice in England.
English residents mix their professional stance with personal views, blurring the effectiveness of a discussion, finding solutions and good results. I see many fearful people in England, closing up as soon as uncomfortable feelings arise, specially in public places.
It’s a deeply ingrained pattern, a remnant of the old world, the Victorian education system, that all uncomfortable feelings need to be suppressed. Denied into absence, so to speak. The rhinoceros on the English dining table is huge!!!
Holland has a very different history, we’ve learned and lived through the storm of the sixties and seventies, the hippie and provo movement. We’ve moved on with sometimes fierce feminism, with abused moms finding safety in shelters called “Stay away from my body” homes. They were as much part of “the game” as their husbands, both projecting issues on each other. And anger. Anticonception offered relief to many women. My mother had 9 children without having a say in what she could endure. I’m born in 1951 as the third child, the oldest daugther.
The workpressure is as high in Holland as in the UK and it’s not hunky dory at all, over there, with parents handling… or should I say.. managing… their kids, treating them as if it’s a collegue at work. It’s hilarious and toe curling, to see a helpless child of 3 being asked why it spilled the glass with lemonade and seeing its Mom angrily demanding an answer. What??
How many adult men have suffered from the bullying in boarding school? How’s the situation now, in boarding schools? Do children learn by excersizing their own investigative minds or are they bullied into submission and forcefed with knowledge? With facts? Dead facts? Imagination and creativity are tools for development.
I see many adults in the UK reaching the emotional age of a 15 year old teenagers. The numerous sufferers from Alzheimer speak for themselves. If you can’t live with yourself in emotional turmoil, without knowing of solutions and you’re unconscious of the resistance to deal with it in a mature way, due to lack of education and knowledge, depression too, the way out is entering that state of being. The body is alive but the spirit has gone to the other side.
Is it the numbness, the helpless obedient attitude that we should expect to see present today in the kids of parents who are at the end of their tether? I fully agree with the view of Mike Fischer, that parents need education and need to learn to deal with their personal issues, their responsibility for having children and giving them a life in wellbeing and freedom.
Anger is a projection of one’s own frustration for being bullied in life, for having to live with emotional turmoil, in despair, one way or another. In England it seems to be high time that the population breaks free from that loop and changes its views and actions, in order to see its kids of today grow up in freedom of expression and trust in life. After all they’re defining our future and the way we live into our old age, happy with others or sad in loneliness.
Besides, in essence it’s also us defining our future, for as I perceive it, we’re the ones who create our reality, each one of us shapes our reality every moment, by the choice of our attitude. Most governments in the world have lost interest in securing the conditions to do that, for their people. Providing the support and tools.
If anyone of you expects to be cared for by a government, you live in a fairy tale.
Look how the care system and the education system has gone into decline in the UK. It’s not very different in Holland, though England has lived through this for a longer time already. This nation hasn’t outgrown the shock yet, of the end of the golden Victorian era, as I perceive it.
Ask yourself, how would you live when you picture yourself as a kid of 6 years old now? What’s the change you’d love to see in the world? Be that change and bring a change for the better into a world that allows kids to be kids, playful and without worries, without having to wonder if they’ll be like dad or mum, later, shivering in disgust or delighted with the idea.
I am a fierce worker, standing up for freedom and justice and as a Dutch woman living in the UK. I’ve discovered how a village community can thrive, I’ve been part of one and felt very much AT HOME in it, very warm welcomed in it. I’ve noticed that there’s much work waiting to be done, in order to restore the thriving and wellbeing of village communities. Hopefully we soon begin to co-operate for a change for the better.
We all need to outgrow that attitude of bullying and acting of the victim, simply for the fact that it’s not what creates a sense of belonging and a happy and emotionally healthy society. In the streets, there’s less fear in Holland, in general and there’s more directness in speaking one’s mind, leaving less residue of unoutspoken arguments and feelings. Less chance for eruptions to release tension, the scenes in Highstreets on Saturdays speak for themselves. There’s a term in the UK for people who are loud: shouters.
Hierarchy and abuse of position is present for sure, in governmental institutes and corporations, but it’s less obviously present in behavior of the “people in the streets” of the Dutch society and therefore there’s less reason to be fearful in large numbers. For fear is an emotion that is as perpetual as contagious, it’s a self fulfilling prophecy too. When in fear you will arrive in situations triggering that fear, it’s where your focus is, it’s the law of attraction. Even without us knowing it consciously, for it’s a law of life, of nature. Dogs tend to attack humans who smell of fear.
Many parents and their children, in disfunctional families, shoot at each other with bullets of anger caused by frustration and despair. We instinctively look for solutions to get rid of negative feelings and when we project them on the outside world, there’s no end to that story.
The way to end a war is to never start one, that’s true for nations as well as for relationships in family members. We’re living in a time of eruption on all levels, we’re faced with our mirrors, as a side effect of ending a way of life that is part of a disfunctional world. We need to start all over with a blank slate, sort of.
The idea of generation clash is deeply ingrained in us, apparently. Go travel to desert tribes or jungle tribes and see how intelligent and gentle these people deal with the children. The presence of attention numbing devices is causing disruption in families,
for none of the members feels seen or acknowledged anymore, each sitting in front of a screen in separate rooms, sitting at the dinner table with eyes fixed on smaller screens.
It’s called hypnosis, or a zombie-state, I presume and once people try a detox from it, they’re confronted with what’s been ignored and pushed aside, quickly running back to the safety of the screen. That’s the effect it can have on those in the web of addictional behavior.
A strong and grounded sense of identity has become a blurred concept for many, or so it seems. That’s why Facebook has to provide one, ahem. Living up to other people’s way of life or taste is deadly to our creativity and use of imagination, our choice of a good life that is in sync with our nature. It’s not what we’re here for, we’re meant to live in freedom and to be the best version of ourselves we know to be, based on our own discernment and heart’s desire in freedom of expression.