12:39 Thursday 2nd August 2018

The western way of raising children is...confused. If it's based on anything, it's based on telling lies. Lies to children, lies about children, lies about lies. That and treating children as brain-damaged adults to be rehabilitated, with no clear notion of what a rehabilitated adult would look like. And it doesn't generally work.

The arabic way is clear. It's based on shouting. Shouting orders, making threats, and occasionally dishing out violence. And when that works, giving out treats. And it doesn't work either.

When adults fail at raising children in the west, the result is aimless children. Maybe creative, intelligent, curious, and sometimes happy, but the self-discipline is missing. When adults fail in the arab world, the result is... children who don't grow up at all.

The problem with shouting is it creates an arms race. You get children who require ever louder shouting and wilder threats and more beating to even register a simple imperative. A calm, polite request can be simply ignored. An instruction needs to be backed up by an implicit threat. Hence the fertile ground for religion.

I don't know how to raise chiren either. The closest I get to a method for turning children into adults is to treat them like they already are adults. But that's the western notion of adult - one who can make their own decisions. The arabic notion of adult is one who's internalised their sense of duty - one who does their own internal shouting.

My father always tried to shame me. Thus I quickly learned to ignore shaming. Which came in very useful later. Mother tried to sit me down and deliver a seminar. Thus my habit of resisting notions delivered from on high.

Arabic children are generally speaking a lot happier than western counterparts. The same may be true of adults. They just regard education as something to be passively received and mindlessly regurgitated. Rebellion is not independance but withdrawal. They seek sinecures in management, but refuse to manage.

Everyday problems are incomprehensible acts of god to be magically solved by the authority of others. I see this here in innumerable small ways. Can you imagine a ten year old child who doesn't know how to turn the TV on and off - and doesn't ask? A twelve year old who never considers trying to paraphrase a difficult idea into simple words - so doesn't try to speak? A 17 year old who disguises his own decisions as inviolable orders from his mother? This is commonplace.

1 comment:

  1. Travel and exposure to other cultures and places and ideas can do wonders to broaden horizons and spark curiosity, courage, and a willingness to try new things and see new alternatives or have new experiences that allow for growth and development and becoming more than you ever were before.