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To worry about future generations

(54 Posts)
Joelsnan Wed 12-Sep-18 15:55:18

I woke early this morning so lay listening to world service/radio 4 till time to get up.
There was a report of a prison officer who had more than 25 years service and was giving a report to some committee. He stated that the type of prisoner had changed markedly recently. At one time the majority would 'get their heads down' and either take courses or just see out there time. He literally stated that the prisons are now filled with feral youths, who are very aggressive, cannot take instruction or direction.
This got me thinking, but later in the day i turned the TV to see a hearbroken man sat in his dilapidated car with his children around him as the baliffs came to call.
And i wondered what sort of society do we want to leave to those who follow.
Schools teach English to an infinite depth when wouldnt a good level of comprehension, vocabulary, reading and spelling suffice. Time save could reinstate domestic science teaching how to cook cheaply and nutritiously. Mathetmatics has always taught parts that for most are destined to the wastebin of the brain. Why not teach money management. We should also teach saving, if you cant afford it, save for it. One of those BBC programmes 'Live well for Less', highlights just how precarious so many families are with their flash homes, clothes, cars and holidays and no back up in case of redundancy or illness.
The mental health issue has soared, is this because as a society we are not gifting our children the tools and resilience to cope with the actul realities of life.

M0nica Wed 12-Sep-18 21:38:51

My grandparents were born into extreme poverty, in toan ethnic group, then treated the way the Romanians treat gypsies. In other words they were Irish catholics and lived in England. They managed to survive and thrive. My parents were born just before and during WW! and survived to be the right age to fight in WW2. I was born in south London during WW2. My children were born at the height of the cold war. My grandchildren have been born into global warning.

I doubt there has ever been a generation born into absolute peace with no cloud on the horizon. Insecurity about the future is part of the human condition and will never go away. Every generation grows up in fear of catastrophe and with figures to prove that we are all heading to perdition. Nothing unusual about that.

Luckygirl Wed 12-Sep-18 21:44:26

I am sure you are right about education. Too much taught too early; and too little of it of real use the real world.

I do not know whether there is a cause and effect relationship with the feral youths - but I do know that too many are out of education because it seems irrelevant to them.

Luckygirl Wed 12-Sep-18 21:44:49

or even "put off"!!!

Anniebach Wed 12-Sep-18 21:56:06

One wonders what parenting these children had, it cannot all be put down to poverty or lack of education surely?

Grammaretto Wed 12-Sep-18 21:59:52

I agree that so much about school is irrelevant to real life.
I also hear what Monica says about anxiety and how every generation lives under a cloud of fear .
My parents survived the 2nd world war. I grew up with the fear of nuclear weapons, my children with Chernobyl.
However, I meet many young people from all over the world and without exception, they give me such hope for the future. They are positive thinkers with great innovative ideas for making life better for others.

stella1949 Thu 13-Sep-18 00:30:12

I'm optimistic about the future of our grandchildren. My parents lived through the Blitz and were sure that the world was going to come to an end - the evil deeds of those days were too horrible to contemplate.

When I was young we thought the atom bomb was going to destroy the world. People horrible to each other - if you were not male, straight and white the world was an unkind place.

Don't despair - things always seem awful when you pick out of few bad things and worry about them. In general I feel that people are more thoughtful about each other and about the world in general .

paddyann Thu 13-Sep-18 00:45:52

When you're young you dont see the bad around you ,,you just get on with living ,maybe some of us older citizens should do the same.Being negative all the time isn't healthy and sometimes its the negativity that causes the problem itself.Dont look for the bad stuff ,if it doesn't affect you directly then ignore it.
We can only do so much for the next generation ,its up to them to make the world what they want it to be.We've had our turn and not done a great job up until now .The same problems that existed in the 40's an d50's are still with us.Poverty,bad housing,low paid jobs ,families who have to decide whether to eat or heat their homes.Young women who cant afford sanitary protection..etc etc. Al in a wealthy country where the rich get richer and the divide gets bigger .We should be praying the next generation get it right,or at least closer to right than we have .

gillybob Thu 13-Sep-18 03:29:59

The same problems that existed in the 40's and 50’s are still with us.Poverty,bad housing,low paid jobs ,families who have to decide whether to eat or heat their homes.Young women who cant afford sanitary protection..etc

Exactly paddyann and things are getting worse not better .

M0nica Thu 13-Sep-18 07:49:13

I do not recognise the picture of education that is painted by the OP. There is more to education than mere utility. It enriches the mind, comes into use at the most unexpected times of life and gives one the tools too make the most of the world around you. I always say that my best preparation for motherhood was O level latin, When my DC reached the 'why is a person in the street called a pedestrian?' why is a place you see a film called a cinema (OK, that is greek), I knew the answer. I do not think any of my education, however arcane has been wasted.

If children are turned off by education the problem lies with their parents and teachers.

As for teaching life skills in schools. In the past that was the responsibility of parents and surely the point of education is to teach people how to find things out and sort things out from themselves. I had pocket money as a child. That certainly taught me how to manage money. If I bought sweets and ate them all on Saturday, I had none left to buy comics. No-one taught me to cook, but I needed to eat and preferred to eat nice food, so I soon taught myself to cook. Charity shops are awash with cook books.

Yes, there is too much poverty but the proportion of those in poverty has fallen over the years and extreme poverty even more . Walk round anywhere in the UK and especially, south of Birmingham and you will see just how many very ordinary people are living comfortable lives, endless clothes, buying new cars, 4 bedroomed detached houses, restaurants overcrowded, private gyms and leisure centres full of people who can afford to belong. On Gransnet there are many members, buy new cars, talk about running out of space for clothes - and those are recent threads. There are also members that we know live close to the edge. We live in a society where not everyone is rich, but not everyone is poor and most people, compared with the 1940s and 50s, live in unimaginable comfort.

Anniebach Thu 13-Sep-18 10:16:15

I am feeling more and more isolated. There seems to be too much state dependency, parents should teach children how to manage money not teachers. The state provides sanitary protection ? I was in a family were four daughters and mother needed sanitary protection, my father was off work, coal dust on the lungs.

In the O/P there was reference to a man in a dilapidated car with children, was the car in use or dumped?

When my daughters wanted to learn to play the flute and chello I worked evenings in a fly fishing business steaming fleas off fur.

That idiot calling JRM’s nanny a servant? I cleaned veg in a boarding school, no way was I a servant, I was an employee.

There is poverty, always has been but to compare now with the forties and fifties , no way.

One parent families , some deserted by the fathers not taught responsibility of parenthood, some with women who have children by different fathers, some because of what life has thrown at them.

When I read threads of new cars, bags of clothes not wanted , good for them, if things had been different I may have been posting on these threads,

There is such envy under the guise of - I want everything for all, no such thing , never will be.

Tin hat for me

Granarchist Thu 13-Sep-18 10:57:59

with you all the way Anniebach

Missfoodlove Thu 13-Sep-18 11:52:35

One of our biggest problems is drug use.
A lot of young people in prisons and institutions have been using skunk cannabis and other mind altering drugs. These can cause paranoia aggression and are a huge contributing factor to meany mental health issues.
This coupled with feckless parenting, poor education and a benefits system that gives people the choice not to work has created an underclass.
There is also a massive sense of entitlement for example a 50 year old lady in the news today who has had fertility treatment in Northern Cypress and is now carrying quadruplets, they are to be delivered by elective CS at 32 weeks and will cost the NHS a fortune. This woman already has children and grandchildren!
Quite frankly I’m sick of paying a huge amount of tax for people that have made such choices,
Rant over 😩👌

lemongrove Thu 13-Sep-18 12:01:14

I'm with you too Anniebach
There are more families now [as the OP says] producing 'feral' children/young men because there are fewer Father s and Father figures around nowadays.
Absent Fathers and primary schools where male teachers are rarely seen all has a knock on effect, especially in inner cities.
I don't we should worry unduly about other generations though, and wonder sometimes as we are often retired people on GN, that having too much free time produces all these worries [about everything!]

M0nica Thu 13-Sep-18 12:28:27

Who remembers the 60's? Not the drugs sex and rock n' roll, but all the media pundits, religious leaders and govenrments deploring young people's behaviour, saying it would ruin the country etc etc. Well, things have changed.

Young people are still surrounded by profits of doom form oder people. It is just that the doom has changed.

This will continue, come alive again in 200 years and the older generation will be full of doom about what the country (if it still exists), will come to and what sort of legacy they will leave their children.

Bigger fleas have littler fleas upon their backs to bite 'em and little fleas have littler fleas and so ad infinitum. It is just the same.

GrannyGravy13 Thu 13-Sep-18 12:55:33

I think that the problems of today are different to those in the 30,40,50's, but do not think they are worse.

We now live in a 24/7 rolling news era, and bad news gets more air time and makes better headlines than good news.

There are lots of opportunities out there for those who want to work, learn or better themselves. Unfortunately there are people who are more than happy to be 2nd even 3rd generation who do not want to work. UK has the lowest level of unemployment for years, which surely cannot be a bad thing. Yes some are 'gig economy' jobs, which suit some people, maybe not all.

Iam64 Thu 13-Sep-18 13:19:27

I don't believe everything is getting worse. I agree about the increase in drug/alcohol problems and the negative impact of that on family life, parentings and society generally.

We need to remember that until the late 70's and 80's, hundreds of children were sent long distances from their homes to large residential care settings, on a 'voluntary' basis and in order to 'support families'. The children were kept away from society, so they weren't able to create the havoc some so called feral children do now. It wasn't better for the children, large numbers of them now talk about the various types of abuse they were subjected to. As adults, they are more likely to use prescription/street drugs and less likely to have good enough parenting skills.

We need to stop this austerity that leaves the vulnerable marginalised. We need to re-open the Sure Start Centres initiated by the 97 Labour Government, invest in early years, in mental health services and in supporting parents.

As for Prisons, this government made many experienced prison officers redundant so they could employ inexperienced people at lower salaries. It aint rocket science. Prisons have always operated with the co-operation of the prisoners. There have never been as many officers as prisoners so a regime with clear boundaries, expectations and good relationships between staff and prisoners kept this ticking over.
I despair at the idea that profit should be made from looking after children who need the state to become their parents, in education, in health or in prisons. These should be public services. Same goes for the health service.
Rant over.

GrannyGravy13 Thu 13-Sep-18 13:30:53

Iam64, our local Sure Start Centre is still open, not sure what percentage have closed? Were the closures due to local authorities deciding?

gillybob Thu 13-Sep-18 16:24:12

I get the impression (happy to be corrected though) GrannyGravy that the poorest LA's (with the highest rates of council tax and rates) tend to be the ones having little choice but to close facilities as their resources are overstretched. In my (financially poor) LA the council tax is one of the highest rates in the country as the demand in services is very high. They have been forced to close ST centres, day centres for the elderly etc. as they are unable to raise council taxes any higher than they already are. Its a bleak situation.

Anniebach Thu 13-Sep-18 16:50:40

Iam I agree with much you say but I still believe there is too much dependency on the state , not all the parents of youngsters now were in children’s homes , not all elderly in the fifties and sixties were in care homes . There seems to be fewer willing to help themselves when they can. I am not being uncaring , I know poverty.

Joelsnan Thu 13-Sep-18 16:53:02

M0nica
I agree with you that Education should be an enriching expereience, my point is that it appears to be nothing more than an academic grind, why do children need to understand the depth of English language constructs that the do now a days, we would be using our imaginations to create naive stories. Realistically there are far more children who would excel in a more vocational learning environment. At least when I went to school cookery, needlework, woodwork and metalwork along with art and PE were standard parts of the curriculum. We used to look forward to these lessons and all have enriched my life becoming my hobbies and saving me £s on DIY i can tackle.
You do not recognise my view of education, but why do we have so many stressed children undergoing barrages of tests to be churned out the other end with what life skills.

Joelsnan Thu 13-Sep-18 17:18:22

What I was trying to impart in my OP was not that things were getting worse, in some respects they may be getting better, but my thoughts were.
What sort of society do we want, should there be a countrywide discussion on what sort of social legacy to leave our children. Would it be a society that is cohesive, caring, intellegent and not based on consumerism, debt, brand label, sex and celebrity. Shouldnt our youth have self confidence based on being comfortable with who you are not how thin you are or what phone you own and not being able to manage finances to pay for them.
Yes, much of it is down to parents to teach these skills to our children, some do a good job, but far too often i see parents divesting authority to their children from very young ages and later find control impossible.
And the prison officer did not make any comment on lack of prison officers it was that the youths were feral.

oldbatty Thu 13-Sep-18 17:35:13

Absent Fathers and primary schools where male teachers are rarely seen all has a knock on effect, especially in inner cities

and the evidence for this is where exactly?

Luckygirl Thu 13-Sep-18 17:48:01

I do think that education is a problem at the moment- you only have to look at the SATs papers for year 6 to realise that these children are up to their eyeballs in things that they struggle with and which impose unacceptable levels of stress. And then they do it all again in the first 2 years of secondary school - so what was all that stress for? By that time we have missed out on the golden opportunity of opening their minds, encouraging self-confidence and valuing the things that they CAN do.

I do agree with M0nica that utility is not the only measure of education and endorse her comments about Latin which mirrors my own experience, but I am in no doubt that children from poorer backgrounds are being put off education - they get to about year 4 in primary and realise that they haven't got a cat in hell's chance of keeping up, so they switch off and mess about instead. I find that very sad; and I am concerned about the levels of mental ill health in young people which I think contribute to them turning towards drug use with all the sorrow that this brings.

There are of course thousands of wonderful young people with good family values and promising futures ahead of them; but those who fall by the wayside are not helped with our current education system. Apprenticeships are a promising move, but it is important that at some point young people are instilled with the idea that these are not second best to A-levels and university, but are a valid route to a worthwhile career.

Luckygirl Thu 13-Sep-18 17:51:08

Oh, and I am 100% behind Iam on the subject of austerity - it was unnecessary and harmed those least able to withstand it, while the rich got richer. And we wonder why there are feral children who feel that they have no worthwhile place in society.