Jul 16, 2009

Forming Alliances, Organizing Against Parents

Children whose parents control and direct by authority and power learn, as they grow older, yet another way of coping with that power. This is the all-too-familiar pattern of forming alliances with other children, either in the family or out of it. Children discover that "in union there is strength"--they can "organize" much like workers in America have organized to cope with the power of employers and management.

Children frequently form alliances to present a common front to parents by:

  • Agreeing among themselves to tell the same story.
  • Telling their parents that all the other kids are permitted to do a certain thing, so why can't they?
  • Influencing other children to join them in some questionable activity, hoping that then their parents won't single them out for punishment.
Today's crop of adolescents feels the real power that comes from organizing and acting in union against parental or adult authority--witness the growing numbers of kids doing drugs with thier friends, not doing homework, ditching school with friends to go to the mall, and the proliferation of cliques and gangs.

Because authority has continued to be the preferred method of controlling and directing the behavior of children, parents and other adults bring about the very thing they most lament--adolescents forming alliances to pit their power against the power of adults. And so society is polarizing into two warring groups--young people organized against adults, or, if you will, the "have-nots" against the "haves." Instead of children identifying with the family, they are increasingly identifying with their own peer group to combat the combined power of all adults.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting! - P.E.T.