A growing lack of adult authority has bred a 'spoilt generation' of children who believe grown-ups must earn their respect, a leading psychologist has warned.About time, Dr Sigman…
The rise of the 'little emperor' spans the class divide and is fuelling ills from childhood obesity to teenage pregnancy, Aric Sigman's research shows.
Attempts to 'empower' children and a lack of discipline in the classroom have also fostered rising levels of violence, at home, at school and in the street.This is encouraging stuff.
Dr Sigman said: 'Authority is a basic health requirement in children's lives.And it can be shown that this has nothing to do with ‘child poverty’ as a result, thus spiking the guns of the usual suspects…
'Children of the spoilt generation are used to having their demands met by their parents and others in authority, and that in turn makes them unprepared for the realities of adult life.
'This has consequences in every area of society, from the classroom to the workplace, the streets to the criminal courts and rehabilitation clinics. Being spoilt is now classless - from aristocracy to underclass, children are now spoilt in ways that go far beyond materialism.
Dr Sigman says youngsters' inflated sense of their own importance is fuelling the obesity epidemic, because children feel they have the right to demand foods which would once have been given as occasional treats.And he attacks one of the sacred cows of the left too – the ‘it’s not their fault, they’re ill!’ approach:
Some children thought to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder might simply have never learned how to behave, he suggests.Indeed…
Calling for 'commonsense policies' to put children in their place, Dr Sigman said: 'There should be an absolute presumption both in law and in policy that adults "know better'' and are in the right unless there are exceptional reasons.That might be a problem now, however. We can’t put the genie back in the bottle when so many teachers have, in the past, been shown to be little better than selfish, greedy children themselves…
Teachers' authority has been vastly weakened legally, professionally and culturally.
There should be a presumption that teachers "know better" and are in the right, unless it is shown otherwise.'
But at least he’s on the right track, which is more than can be said of the Conservative mouthpiece:
Tim Loughton, Tory children's spokesman, said: 'We believe that parents should be taking a greater responsibility for their children and that teachers and other figures in authority should be able to exercise their powers when the parameters are broken.'Eh…?
He said the Conservatives were devising a National Citizens' Service for all 16-year- olds, giving them the chance to go on a summer challenge involving outward bound, team building and community engagement work.
Just how is expecting all children to become unpaid servants of the state at age 16 going to encourage them to respect the authority of their parents? Who could possibly come up with such a useless, illiberal scheme…?
Oh. I see where you got it from.
Take a look at his poll numbers. Want to trot down that road after him, Tories? Be my guest, but don’t say you weren’t warned….