I thought that nothing could top our grueling air travel experience from earlier this week, until I read this article about about a mother and her toddler getting kicked-off an airline for the 19-month-old's incessant baby talk. In contrast, on our flight, our toddler was not repeating the cute "bye-bye plane" baby-talk, our baby was repeatedly screaming at the top of his lungs.
I'm so glad that our attendant only went as far as indignant complaints and dirty looks.
All of this got me to thinking...
Is it just me or does it seem that more people are becoming increasingly intolerant of the needs and behaviors of children?
Could this be a symptom of a society that marginalizes children and exiles them from reality?
Daycare services admit children as young as 6-weeks-old and from that point on there are an amplitude of services that allow parents to temporarily free themselves from their burdens. When children turn 5 (and in some areas 4), public education devours kids and institutionalizes them until they are of competent working age.
As a homeschooling parent I can attest to the fact that many adults are visibly uncomfortable with the mere presence of a child. I have endured many hostile glares when I have occasionally ventured out with my school age children before 3 pm.
Why does our society treat children like an inconvenient necessary evil, only to be pacified and occasionally praised when they make their adult counterparts feel good about themselves?
Perhaps we have forgotten that children are people who are capable of more than we give them credit for. Our ancestors were thankful for each new little human being that was added to their family because they knew that they had worth and could contribute to the livelihood of a household even at a very early age. (Even a toddler can be taught how to snap beans and carry a bucket!)
Awaiting the day when they can flip-a-burger or open a checking account, American kids are locked away from the rest of society, placated with toys and electronics.
It is no wonder that once out of their parents house they find themselves ill-equipped for reality, in a downward spiral of partying and debt; never truly becoming well rounded adults until their late 20s or early 30s...
or never at all.