Dateline: Scotland, EU
By: Pater Familias
From: Sunday Times
Via: The Honor NetworkPriority News Exchange Program News Item (PNEP)
A call for businesses to take unruly youths under their wings is misguided: these kids need their absent dads. Ever since Odysseus entrusted his infant son, Telemachus, to Mentor while he went off to wield a few weapons of his own in the Trojan wars, mentoring has been in fashion. Now Detective Chief Superintendent John Carnochan, head of Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit, wants businesses to allow staff a day off each month to mentor youngsters in danger of becoming criminals.
Now, there is a surprise, a state-appointed guardian of society highly placed in a position that exists solely because of the abject failure of the state to provide the protection it promises as a right, coming up with a suggestion that shows just how to avoid hitting the nail on the head while appearing to take a good aim, and trying to look good.
It is a scheme that, at first sight, seems to make sense. High- achievers take a personal interest in teenagers who come from a culture where boundaries exist only to mark out rival gang territories. Carnochan believes that the gulf between youths from deprived backgrounds and the rest of society can be bridged by companies providing positive role models.
Hmm! I kind of wonder just how these “deprived victims” are going to feel about the idea that they are some how “deprived”? I guess they may possibly feel it’s a strange idea. Their idea of being deprived may well be how they feel when some copper comes and tells them they have to go and have a chat with that nice politically approved tool they are going to set about him who comes from the “rest of society” which is looking down at him and trying to forestall the trouble they are sure he will cause if he is not wrenched into shape.
In particular, he is seeking male role models. Last month, The Prince’s Trust revealed that 30% of the young people it surveyed lacked a parental role model and suggested this was one of the reasons that gangs are able to recruit kids in a way that employers cannot. The parental role model in question is invariably a father. Almost two thirds of young Scots questioned suggested that finding a sense of identity was a key reason for joining a gang, with one in five saying gang membership was about finding male role models.
I’m pretty sceptical about this. I suspect the main reason you sign up for the Baltic Fleet or the Tongs is because you get a kick out of chibbing people and causing mayhem. Never underestimate the fun involved in running amok.
Well, I guess you get the answers you want to suit from the questions you ask? People “join” gangs for the same reasons they join all companies. They think it will progress their immediate agenda and they feel better associating with folk who have the same ideas as they do about things.
Any innovative idea designed to help children from deprived backgrounds fulfil their potential is to be welcomed, but mentoring depends on the motivation of the person on the receiving end. The reason business or sports mentoring works is because the beneficiary is already inspired to achieve and willing to put in the effort.
In 2003, Jack McConnell, the then first minister, announced that Scotland was to adopt an American mentoring concept called Big Brothers Big Sisters. The scheme was designed to match volunteer mentors with children from single-parent families. Less than 18 months later it was quietly wound up.
Lack of funding was just one problem. Another was that there is an inherent contradiction in trying to recruit male role models in a society that is intrinsically suspicious of men working with children. We’re keen to have men run the mini-rugby or junior football league in theory, but in practice we treat adult volunteers as if they are potential criminals.
Indeed. Some men likely to volunteer for such roles are men that wish to abuse youngsters. That is the presumed position.
Children who go on to lead violent lives and to join gangs need more than one day a month from somebody working in the private sector, however dedicated or inspirational they may be. These kids don’t need mentors; they need their fathers. A mentor is no substitute for a dad who is there day in day out, offering support, love and discipline. Fathering is not something you can do on a day release basis.
Yip. Got it in one. And this is one of those big problems the statists seem to have when it comes to anything regarding children and young people. Parenting is NOT a “off the shelf” range of skills that can be found in a number of state-controlled “role models” who may fit some of the needs to order some of the time, Lego-like, clicking in with all the other people, teachers, etc. A father is on call 24 hours a day and only a natural father will normally have this degree of TRUE self-sacrifice needed to do what is pretty essential. PUT THEIR CHILD FIRST! A father’s attitude to his son is more than just a “nice bit of work I do to help the community.” It’s his own future, his own representation of his hopes and dreams for his line; his personal pride is at stake. He is judged as a dad, not as a charity worker!!
In his book On Men: Masculinity In Crisis, the late Anthony Clare wrote: “Children growing up without fathers are more likely to fail at school or drop out, have emotional or behavioural problems necessitating psychiatric intervention and develop drug and alcohol problems. Adolescent males who attempt suicide appear more likely to come from homes where the father is absent.”
There are countless studies that testify to the vital role fathers play. Yet rather than acknowledge this and tackle the thorny issue of absent fathers, we constantly seek alternatives for a role which is effectively irreplaceable. Of course there are children who overcome the loss of a father early in life and there are plenty of women making a brilliant job of raising children on their own, but there are few who would claim fatherlessness is anything other than a disadvantage.
I mean is it really still assumed that fathers are absent by choice? The “choice” of becoming a criminal by trying to stay in your kids lives seems to be left out of all mainstream media even with F4J everywhere pounding on the roofs. How about helping dads stay in touch with their children, instead of jailing them for trying to do so?
Lets hope they also don’t end up unable to compete with the state for control of their own families. I guess what we really need to do is find some way of enabling fathers to bribe mothers better than the state does. Though in any event it’s too late for most of them.
The horse has bolted, the gelding shears and whippings prompted the stallions bid for freedom and many of these fathers are wondering why suddenly the state is wanting them to be back in their kids lives when not too long ago it was the same agents who forced them out in the first place. And, is still doing so for the next generation of young men, if indeed they even get a chance to glimpse what their seed has sired now that fathers are officially deemed by the state “unnecessary”.. I guess it comes down to the states principle that seems to limit mens uses to being sperm donors, financial props and “mr fix its” after the event.
Anyone with an ounce of foresight could predict that women left to raise boys would eventually find they could not control them.
And dads can?Sure. Let’s be given the opportunity to do the job right from the start. It’s what fathers were evolved to do. Good prevention surely beats any attempt at a late cure for a disease that has had a 15- year head start?
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