Personal Accountability: The Best Form of Prevention

Angry Parent And Baby“The ultimate form of control is fear and the fear that you could lose your life at any moment elicits a Pavlovian response towards those who claim they can protect you. Trauma based mind control is not a conspiracy theory and can be observed naturally after people have been subject to distress.” ~ Paul Joseph Watson

Ever seen the show Scared Straight? It’s about giving ‘bad kids’ a taste of their own medicine, so that they might modify their behaviour to something more becoming of a ‘good, law-abiding citizen.’ Not a bad idea in theory.

But when I watched this acclaimed program, what I saw was large, seasoned, angry bullies bullying smaller unseasoned ones. In short, I saw fear conditioning. By hyper-activating the central nervous system in the unnatural ‘gang up’ way it is done on this show, without the ability to escape or even to speak, the children are conditioned to obey. If they don’t, they will be brutally detained in the cells of ‘fight or flight’, without the ability to do either. The ramifications of this widely accepted ‘program’ are scary indeed.

It is important to recognize the issue at hand: children aren’t born angry. They learn it. Ask around and you might find that en masse, children are not pleased with the way things are these days, and will do just about anything to flip the bird at the ubiquitous hypocrisy.

With less connection to ground, school shootings, crooked leaders, school and prison bullies, massive quantities of antibiotics, steroids, hormones, antidepressants, anti-anxiety pills, anti-psychotics, anti-inflammatory medications, uppers, downers, boner-keepers, etc, being ingested everyday through air, food, water and life by our children, they are being forced to reap the consequences of our actions. That would piss anyone off. But even if one were ignorant to these atrocious realities, one doesn’t have to be aware of the poison inside them to feel its effects.

From the toxic influence point of view (which explains the myriad mental health issues in modern society), we should feel little entitlement to judge anyone’s behaviour, at least until we have modified our own.

Children need no help understanding the concept of ‘consequences for acting irresponsibly’ because they breath, eat, drink and live it every day. They are not as unaware as we might think.

Even if one doesn’t buy the idea that children are responding to (and mimicking) our behaviour (y compris our irresponsibility regarding everything from the environment to economics to health care and back), and instead believe that some kids are just ‘bad seeds’ – even if the latter were true – throwing a child into yet another violent situation (prison), where yelling, berating and intimidation are used as behaviour modification tools, is akin to screaming at your dog for pooping on the rug because you refused to take him outside for a week.

Punishing those, who by virtue of living in a world where there is very little accountability demonstrated, for doing what comes naturally – emoting in response to what in reality is a crisis situation – about which they had nothing to do with creating, makes us the problem, not them.

Allow me to digress a little into the show. On one episode, a 14 year old’s mother claimed her son was ‘out of control.’ In a preliminary interview, the boy’s mother claimed her son said no to everything (shocking!); he was very aggressive and didn’t like anything. (In kid lingo, to me, this means, ‘I am unhappy with the way things are and I’m lashing out because I don’t know how else to get the attention I need to get it through to my loved ones that I want to be happy, and that they need to change before I can learn how to’.)

The smiling boy said, “I don’t like macaroni and cheese.”

Children need to express. Which is perhaps why some kids agree to be on the show in the first place. As social animals, we tend to get upset when ignored. Every one of us, at some point in our lives, has been known to say and do really questionable things for attention.

From a psychological standpoint, right from the start, children push boundaries. When they do, it means they are developing self-confidence and a burgeoning respect for us as their guides (acting out is a call for boundaries from the ‘safe person’ due to ‘unsafe’ feelings). Further, teenagers willfully question everything, which should be encouraged. It demonstrates increased critical thinking, the creation of new neural networks and a call for independence. Asking for better answers, and perhaps a shift from apathy, is not unreasonable, and if ignored, will most definitely result in anger, a lack of reason and a loss of control inside.

To allow children to express and assert themselves provides a platform for communication and a foundation for trust. To be present and to reciprocate with reason (even if the reason/response we provide is less than favourable to the child), allows children to develop a stable foundation. But a stable foundation requires stable participants.

Stability comes from real time interaction. It is easy to get stuck in old patterns – fictions which sustain comfortable illusions. To get caught up in the unstable dramas that constantly present throughout life. It is the struggle we all face as humans: to get and stay lost in the past (head down), or worry in the future (head up), instead of being present in the ‘right now’ (head facing straight ahead).

And this is precisely where children live: in the now. Not in the hard to grasp, slippery slope of ‘not now, later.’

In any case, ‘enforcing prevention’ (as opposed to engaging the present) is an oxymoronic concept. There is no point in using force to teach anger or crisis management. It’s like the saying, ‘Fighting for peace is like screaming for silence.’

Accountability needs to be in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the actions we see and demonstrate everyday. Order, balance and commitment to self-regulation and discipline are necessary; to practice these simple things daily is ideal, and as it were, not as hard as dealing with the alternative.

Children who ‘misbehave’ are attempting (even in indirect or misguided ways) to show us our own mistakes. School’s in session right now, in every moment, and we are their students as much as they are ours. And if we are serious about changing things for the better, we must pay attention to the lessons that right now has to offer. (Right kids?)

Photo Credit

Angry Parent And Baby @ The Guardian


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