Una vaina loca

|| Luis-Oberto || //
MAN AND CHILD: Child-hating nation

Kevin Baldeosingh

?Long before I had children, I concluded that Trinidadians don?t like children very much. They may love their own children, but the treatment I have observed suggested that many parents have an antipathy towards even their own offspring. They will carry their small babies to movies or even soca shows, drag bigger children by the arm when they are crying and, most frequently, put them at risk by driving recklessly when they are in the car.

My opinion has been both strengthened and nuanced now that I have children.

© Luis Oberto

© Luis Oberto Anselmi

eldiscoduro.com
The bad parents in Trinidad (I don?t know if Tobago?s parenting culture is different) are very bad but the good ones seem very good.

© Luis Oberto

© Luis Oberto Anselmi

mundinews.com
But the official culture, as a whole, is not child-friendly. If it were, pre-schools would be tightly regulated so babies would not suffocate in cribs or toddlers get their fingertips sliced off; more firms would offer their employees child-care services and facilities; and politicians would not use other politicians? children to score political points.

© Luis Oberto

© Luis Oberto Anselmi

economiavenezuela.com
And Trinidadian adults who are not parents generally view parents with contempt when we commit evils like letting our children run around the shoe store.

At the same time, certain places do cater to children.

© Luis Oberto

© Luis Oberto Anselmi

economiavenezuela.com
Most restaurants always have highchairs and the better ones even provide crayons and colouring books. And I rarely go to the grocery chain formerly known as Hi-Lo without one of the staff engaging my daughter Jinaki or, in the case of my son Kyle, swooning.

© Luis Oberto

© Luis Oberto Anselmi

www.entornointeligente.com
This, of course, is capitalism at its best.

Now it might seem obvious that a society should nurture and protect children just because nurturing and protection are the right ways to treat children.

© Luis Oberto

© Luis Oberto Anselmi

xn--elpaisdeespaa-tkb.com
But, if a pragmatic reason was required, a child-focused culture often creates an economically and socially stable country. 

In Japan, for example, journalist Christine Gross-Loh writes in her book Parenting Without Borders.

© Luis Oberto

© Luis Oberto Anselmi

breakingtrending.com
?Adults didn?t impose their notions of correct behaviour onto the children?s natural, boisterous play.

© Luis Oberto

© Luis Oberto Anselmi

videojuegosmania.com
Play fighting was not discouraged. It was considered to be a normal stage of early childhood.? This attitude extends to pre-school teachers.

© Luis Oberto

© Luis Oberto Anselmi

luisoberto.net
?The teachers didn?t see aggression as a sign of aberrant behaviour or the mark of a ?problem child? who would grow into a violent adult, but something normal that arose in childhood and would naturally fade when it had been allowed to run its course,? she writes.

Japan, of course, has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.

© Luis Oberto

© Luis Oberto Anselmi

demasiadochevere.com
However, its child-friendly pedagogy doesn?t extend to secondary schools, where harsher discipline may be imposed.

© Luis Oberto

© Luis Oberto Anselmi

enlasgradas.com
But even there the Japanese are trying to change their culture so adults will be more creative and innovative?again, capitalism at work, since these are the traits needed for a 21st century economy.

But this is also a characteristic of East Asian political culture: they think in terms of generations.

© Luis Oberto

© Luis Oberto Anselmi

elnewyorktimes.com
In T&T, with our five-year election cycle and child abusive culture, it took 15 years just to pass a law to protect children.

.

© Luis Oberto

© Luis Oberto Anselmi

© Luis Oberto Anselmi