Would You Want Your Child to Live YOUR Life?
http://annabrixthomsen.com/2012/09/07/w ... your-life/
Will your Child be just Another Brick in the Wall? What can YOU do to support your Child? Are Preschools what is best for your Child - are they Best For All?
This is a continuation to Are you Playing Russian Roulette with Your Child’s Future?
In this blog we’ll again be looking at preschool education, education in general as well as the relationships between adults and children – and what exactly it is we are bringing our children up to become. I will once again use an example from practical reality where I had the opportunity to get a glimpse into the world of ‘education’ from a ground level.
Here in Sweden there is a ‘policy’ that all children should be as much outside as possible. I am not sure if it is distinct for this municipality as I’ve not worked in other areas of Sweden, but I recognize the concept from my work in Danish preschools. However here in Sweden I’ve found that every preschool has the principle that children should be outside from 7.30 to 11 /11.30 all year round. When one enters most preschools for example, the main door will be locked and one has to go through a gate onto a playground where teachers and children will be located.
I am quite sure that the idea is (I’ve not yet asked or researched the exact policy or principle behind this) that children today spend way too much time sitting still indoors and requires some fresh air. I remember reading that it is the preschool’s responsibility because parents often don’t take the time to do activities outside. So many preschools have decided that – as a rule – everyone has to be outside from 7.30 to 11 /11.30 (or from 12 – 15.00). When I worked in Denmark in such a preschool, I remember how most of the staff as teachers and assistants hated being outside. Only a minute few either loved it or at least agreed with the point of value. I was as sure as hell someone who hated it. I hated being forced to be outside when it was cold and I hated being outside when it was cold.
One time I worked in a preschool where the children could decide for themselves when they wanted to go out. They were themselves responsible for getting dressed which was also different from many preschools where children will stand in cue waiting for adults to dress and undress them. So one of the reasons it’s ‘easier’ to have everyone go in and out at the same time, is that the adults does not have to put on clothes and take on clothes all the time. However in this preschool there was a principle of learning to do it for yourself, even for the little kids. So sometimes one would look out the window and it was snowing and some little three years old would be outside in the snow with only one boot on or without their coat. Then of course we had to intervene and call them back in to get probably dressed. In this preschool, instead of the children having to sit down and eat at specific times, they had created a ‘café’ in the center of the preschool where children could come and eat whenever they wanted to. If they ate too fast and became hungry later, there would be food and fruit available. If they did not eat at all, the parents would be notified. The principle behind this was to respect children’s play time and forming of friendships so that the day would be constructed around their preferences and not for the convenience of adults. This preschool was a lot more effective, with a lot less crying and screaming than anywhere else I’ve been.
Back to the Swedish preschool principle. So what I noticed as I have been visiting preschools where children has to be outside at certain times, is that the adults are not enjoying themselves. In many cases the adults are freezing cold, standing in a corner with their hands around a hot coffee mug and otherwise merely ‘supervising’ the children on the playground, performing ‘damage control’ (It’s not called ‘child rearing for nothing).
I’ve heard and seen many preschool teachers, who, when it’s their time to go inside and sit down and take a break express a sigh of relief almost and will even fight, scheme and manipulate their colleagues to be the one who gets to go in. This is of course because everyone has agreed to hold up the facade that ‘it’s so good to be outside’ - so no one is willing to admit that they in fact hate it and would much rather being inside. (Obviously I am primarily talking about the cold/winter time which here in Sweden lasts between 6-8 months from October to May.)
One day I later talked to a little boy who recently had his birthday and he had gotten a race track as a birthday present. He said that he had played with it all morning before we met. I asked him if he would have rather stayed at home and very firmly he replied: Yes, but we can’t do that. Exactly as his parents, he understands that he cannot stay at home, because his parents have to go to work and therefore he has to go to preschool. He understands. Because he has no choice.
So I started looking at this point: Why are we upholding traditions just to hold up traditions when we’re not even standing by them ourselves? Both the adults and the children at the party were merely there, representing a system. The adults understand that they are here to ‘rear’ the children into ‘civilized’ human beings. From a certain perspective – that’s all they’re there to do: make sure the children do not kill each other and understand that they can’t have everything they point at.
If we take this example with the principle that ‘kids needs to be outside and get fresh air’ – the absurdity is obvious. Because the same kids after the age of 6 will not be expected – or sometimes even allowed – to go outside. The older they get, the more it will be expected of them to sit still inside. So what does that mean? That only children under 6 benefits from fresh air? That adults do not benefit from being outside in the fresh air? Or that it lays a good foundation for a ‘healthy disposition’? How come are we not applying the same principles for children as for adults? An obvious answer is of course that children don’t have to work and therefore have time to be outside and enjoy the benefits of nature and fresh air. But I don’t know and have never met any child or adult who enjoys being forced to be outside in any kind of weather for hours at a time. Another argument is that if the children are not forced to be outside, most of them would chose something ‘unhealthy’ like sitting and watching TV and therefore we obviously have to make decisions on their behalf that they can’t make for themselves.
However at the preschool I mentioned previously where the children could go out whenever they wanted to, many children would opt to go out and it was especially children who were more expressive and who wanted to run around and express themselves loudly, whereas in an indoor environment they would be told to quiet themselves down with ‘indoor voices’.
Why is it that we’re expecting children to enjoy something that we don’t ourselves enjoy? Why do we want children to pretend like they’re having fun when they’re not and when we’re not? Why is it more important to SAY that you’re sorry than to actually understand the consequences of your actions? If being outside and getting fresh air is so great – why are we not applying the same rules for adults? People working in offices could be forced to go out for an hour every day. Why are they not if it’s so beneficial?
The point is once again that children who are in company with adults, who are actually enjoying themselves, are much more likely to also enjoy themselves. It’s absurd that we create a living and working environment based on principles and values that has no practical common sense. And what this shows is that what is in control and is directing us is the system that we’ve abdicated ourselves to.
The adults are doing it because ‘it’s part of the job’ and with the job comes money and money is required to survive in this world. A few of them actually believe in the principles and values placed within such a learning environment as a preschool is. But mostly they’re simply living their own self-abdication to the system, to such an extent that they’ll convince themselves that they’re having fun – so that they can stand as examples for the children in ‘supporting’ the children to also learn to lie to themselves and deny their basic physical self-support, for example to go inside when one’s body is too cold. But is it truly best for children to be outside every day for 4 hours? Or is it best for children to live in an environment with adults who are self-honest, who live in self-respect and dignity? Who support their physical bodies to it’s optimum potential instead of supporting myths and values that has no practical common sense?
What would you want for your child? What would you want if you were a child? The answer is obvious isn’t’ it? Even a child would agree. So why the hell are we so adamantly supporting a system that is not existing to support us? Because it’s all about the money – because the adults KNOW that just as they have abdicated themselves to the system to survive, the children have to do the same. And obviously whatever the adults accept for themselves, they will automatically accept for the children as well. Preschool teachers are thus deliberately training children to become submissive, complacent apathetic human beings who ironically, for the most part, will be forced sit inside an office for the rest of their lives (unless they become preschool teachers or forest rangers).
And the preschool teachers don’t dare to do things differently because then they would have to question their own lives as well and they would have to face the fact that they’re living on a lie and that they are telling themselves that they’re happy and free when in fact they’re existing as servants of the system, clapping their hands for the system, freezing their asses off for the system.
And the children accept that this is the lay of the land: “learn to love it” seems to be the parole. Because if you don’t love it and convince yourself into accepting the way the world works, your life will be even more hellish and you won’t survive. That's the fear we all live in.
How dare we as adults coerce and force children into obedience to live on a lie, just so that we don’t have to face the fact that we are? How can we believe that it’s possible to change the world when we’re not even willing to change ourselves or the environment our children are brought into?
Our children will certainly not have a different life than we did and do, if we don’t change ourselves to be able to provide a living space where such a transformation and development is possible. So as long as well live in the cage, that’s what we’ll teach our children too – no matter what.
There is a solution to this mess: to reeducate ourselves as adults to become self-honest self-responsible human beings who are considerate and caring and who do not suppress our self-expression, adults who considers what is best for all within a given moment unconditionally without being limited and restricted by absurd bureaucracies. This is only possible if we change our economic and political systems, from systems based on competition for survival to systems based on common sense and equality.
Do you want your child to have the life you had? To live the life you’ve lived? To be the person you are? I am sure the answer is no. So if that is true what kind of example are you setting? Why the hell are you not changing yourself to stand as an example for your children, for all children– so that they can see that it is possible to grow up and become a person of integrity and self-respect, a person that is comfortable and expressive with their physical body, a person that cares about what is best for all life?
The only answer would be: because I want to keep living on a lie – even though it drains me and exhausts me and literally kills me to do day in and day out. Because this is all I know and I am afraid of leaving my cage, because at least ‘it’s comfortable in here’.
Well – if you would not want that for your child, why would you want it for yourself? If you see how unacceptable it is for a child to be brought up just to suppress themselves, why do you still insist on suppressing yourself? If you see that it’s absurd that a child is brought up only to live in fear of not surviving, why are you still allowing yourself to live in fear of not surviving?
Will you let the same shitty world system continue to decide for us because we have abdicated our own self-responsibility to it?
Or will you take yourself in the hand as a child and guide and direct yourself firmly in gentleness and unconditional support to change yourself to become a human being of self-trust and integrity – and thus stand as an example that it is possible to change and live in a way that in fact is best for all?
The solution is an Equal Money System – where all are provided for by a global system of equality from birth. All we have to do is to change the starting-point from which we live – from fear and competition and self-interest, to the courage to live in self-honesty and equality with each other. Investigate Desteni for tools on how to Change yourself so that we can Change the world together.
Whatever you decide – will be the future your children will have to live with.