Back in the 1960’s at the time when Dr. Benjamin Spock was all the rage with parents and childrearing, a new term started to appear in school. Parents, I should say mothers, would say that little Johnny was sensitive and this is why he was not doing so well in class. The fact that little Johnny was indulge and a lazy bastard was not really considered, he was sensitive and schools started to pander to that affliction amongst school boys. That went on during the 1970’s and by the early 1980’s the fashion had turned to letting children choose what they wanted to learn. If in the elementary levels 1 to 6 parents demanded loudly a return to basics, writing, reading, math, in high school it was all about self-discovery and choice. Why would a 13 year old know what they wanted to do and what they should study or what was important to learn at an age when puberty reeks havoc and you have mood swings and changing taste from one day to the next, is beyond me. I remember then that one popular conversation amongst my school chums was how all you really needed was a grade 9 education to make your way in life.
Then with the rise of the talk shows and all the TV experts, were they really experts? I somehow doubt it, we had a succession of maladies, first abuse in childhood, then dysfunctional families, then allergies like peanuts and all manner of other food allergies like newly discovered glutens, then bipolar disorders, currently transgender children, school bullying is also popular and equity in schools for girls, we are not talking about equality which is a 1970’s topic. What I find interesting about all these different social topics is that everyone is affected, everyone is bipolar and everyone has allergies or comes from dysfunctional families etc.. the list goes on. Remember Oprah came from a dysfunctional family, she had an episode of her show on the topic and the ratings went up.
Per example here in Canada now the whole transgender question is top of radio discussions or at least on CBC. We are told parents should look for signs in young children from birth. A parade of experts and activists give us their views, like it or not.
Having lived in many countries in various cultures, I am comparing and note that all these preoccupations are very North American, we say First World but no it is typically from our culture. Many activists see this as a way of advancing individualism to the extreme, then translate this into a Human Rights issue, the group, society, no longer matters, only the single individual and we must all conform or be denounced.
Peanut allergies do not exist or if it does it is not a fixation as it has become here. The concept of dysfunctional families does not exist as such, maybe because other societies are more conventional or deal differently with their societal problems. Same with all other questions. You certainly do not see the level of hysteria we encounter here. It has come to a point where you cannot have a mature discussion, everyone is riding their high horse and being sanctimonious.
I wonder where we are going as a society, if the so called youth is our future then I am very worried, the little darlings are not prepared for real life and its challenges.