By: Mike Hosking | Thursday, April 05, 2012
The best story of the week for me was the survey on this country’s young people. I mentioned it briefly on-air yesterday. But given it’s a short week and a long weekend and school holidays and we want to end the week on an up note, it’s worth having another look.
In a nutshell, over 90% of kids are fine. They’re happy, comfortable with their place in the world, not the depraved social rejects that they’re portrayed so often to be. They’re not drugged up and pregnant, they’re not jumping from bed to bed spreading the sexual diseases that the media so often portrays. They’re just the way we as parents would like them. Decent, normal, happy young people finding their way in the world.
Being a parent of young kids, you pay a lot of attention to this stuff. The parties, the drinking, the rules, the curfews, the peer pressure, the endless stories about troubled teens, disease, drugs, depression.
If it’s a campaign, it’s been spectacularly successful trying to freak the living daylights out of you, trying to convince you yours kids are troubled and if they’re not troubled, chances are they will be, and that technology and TV and booze and social media and just about everything that’s been invented in the past 30 years is directly attributable to the downfall of modern youth.
If you read it all, soaked it up, and more importantly believed it, you’d flag having kids. Why would you bother? There’d be no hope.
But if anything in this is our fault, it’s forgetting to look at the actual evidence. The study merely confirms what most of us would see on a daily basis. No one’s going to hell in a handcart.
Yes, you have your kids’ mates you look twice at. Yes, peer group pressue is the same as it’s always been, pushing the boundaries, trying it on. And yes, we all daily walk that line between letting them make their own judgements and making their own way in the world vs. wrapping them up in a cloistered shell. But most seem to pop out the other side decent and well adjusted.
It’s just being normal and average isn’t news. There is no headline in getting on with it. Disaster and chaos is what makes the news. So for every troubled kid or statistic, there are nine others just having another day of normality. That’s the important number. That’s the one to remember.
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