Barbara H. Peterson

Farm Wars

I want what I want and I want it now!

When we are children, we only know what we want. And we only know that we want it now. As we grow up, we begin to realize that we cannot always have what we want when we want it. That is, until now.

Charlotte Iserbyt’ s book, “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America,” states:

“The billions of dollars being spent by the federal government to destroy educational freedom must be halted, and that can only be done by getting American legislators to understand that the American people want to remain a free people, in charge of their own lives and the education of their children.”

I contend that the legislatures understand this, have understood it for years, but also understand that a free populace is a dangerous one, and their best interests are served by manipulating that populace to serve them. Freedom be damned. People that only know the gratification of immediate wants and desires with no long-term goals are people that can be controlled by the perceived ability to obtain whatever shiny object they desire at the moment. And public education is one of the main tools put in place to achieve that state of deliberate short-sightedness.

Do you really think that those who have been brought up in the public school system and have promoted themselves to a position of power and influence over others will somehow shed the years of indoctrination they have undergone on the road to being a narcissistic puppet just because they have achieved prominence? Does a leopard become a vegetarian because he is now king of the leopards? And the irony is, they think they are in control.

Public School System Behavior Modification

Education is defined as:

“The act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.” (Dictionary.com)

What we are seeing now is not so much education, but behavior modification, as Charlotte Iserbyt states:

“In 1973 I started the long journey into becoming a “resister,” placing the first incriminating piece of paper in my “education” files. That first piece of paper was a purple ditto sheet entitled “All About Me,” next to which was a smiley face. It was an open-ended questionnaire beginning with: “My name is _____.” My son brought it home from public school in fourth grade. The questions were highly personal; so much so that they encouraged my son to lie, since he didn’t want to “spill the beans” about his mother, father and brother. The purpose of such a questionnaire was to find out the student’s state of mind, how he felt, what he liked and disliked, and what his values were. With this knowledge it would be easier for the government school to modify his values and behavior at will—without, of course, the student’s knowledge or parents’ consent.” (Charlotte Iserbyt)

Modify the behavior of an individual to think only of him/herself, and you have created the perpetual child. A stunted personality without the ability to think beyond his/her immediate wants and desires. The consummate narcissist.

The Me Me Me Generation

According to Time Magazine,

“The incidence of narcissistic personality disorder is nearly three times as high for people in their 20s as for the generation that’s now 65 or older, according to the National Institutes of Health; 58% more college students scored higher on a narcissism scale in 2009 than in 1982. Millennials got so many participation trophies growing up that a recent study showed that 40% believe they should be promoted every two years, regardless of performance.”

What do these statistics mean for future generations? That the public school system is working. Not as we have been programmed to think it should, but how it was designed to work. It means that we will see an increase in the amount of narcissistic individuals whose only interest is in self-gratification, no matter the cost to others. People who will jump at the chance to climb over anyone in their way in order to fulfill their desires.

Mediocrity is Excellence

Doublespeak is a “language that deliberately obscures, disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words.” When we equate simply being able to pass or fail a course with our ability to excel at understanding the subject matter, this is doublespeak.

“A pass/fail system is different from the current A, B, C, D, F grading system in that there is no scale of performance in the pass/fail scenario. You either made it or you didn’t.” (Vanadia)

A through D is the same. No incentive to excel. Just a minimal understanding of the class material is the same as an exceptional understanding. Just enough to pass. Barely. And you are an excellent student. No measure of intelligence, just lump everyone into the same mold. What does this say to the ones who really are exceptional? It says that true excellence does not count in today’s world. It says that no matter how hard you work or how much you excel at your studies, you are no better off than those who simply cannot find their toes on a good day and/or don’t really care to. It relays the message “why try?” It removes the incentive to learn. The incentive to be the best you can be. The incentive to grow. And the resentment builds.

On the other end of the spectrum, those who fly through the educational process with barely a passing grade, whose mediocrity is deemed excellence, are on the path to narcissism.

“The following parenting behaviors may result in a child becoming a narcissist in adulthood:

  • Permissive parents who give excessive praise to the child, thus fostering an unrealistic view of themselves
  • Overindulgence and spoiling by parents
  • Failing to impose adequate discipline
  • Idealization of the child

A child who is spoiled or idealized will grow into an adult who expects this pattern to continue.” (Winning Teams)

Yes, the quoted article states “parenting” behaviors. But hasn’t the public school system basically taken on the role of parenting? Starting at 2.5 years old in pre-school, our children see more of their teachers and after-school caregivers than they do of their parents.

Example Full-Day Pre-K Schedule

  • 7:50-8:10 Arrival
  • 8:10-8:15 Morning Announcements
  • 8:15-8:25 Calendar Math
  • 8:25-8:40 Morning Message
  • 8:55-10:20 Reading Workshop (includes read aloud, mini-lesson, independent reading, share, independent practice/small groups)
  • 10:20-10:30 Bathroom break and prepare for lunch
  • 10:30-11:00 Lunch
  • 11:00-11:50 Gym/Recess
  • 11:50-12:15 Math Workshop (includes read aloud, mini-lesson, independent practice/small groups)
  • 12:15-12:45 Math Centers
  • 12:45-1:45 Writing Workshop
  • 1:45-1:55 Snack
  • 1:55-2:55 Learning Centers
  • 2:55-3:10 Clean up and prepare for dismissal

(Pre-K Pages)

So, let’s connect the dots. Children are basically raised by the public school system, and if that system is designed to equate mediocrity with excellence, doesn’t that fit the criteria of “parenting behaviors may result in a child becoming a narcissist in adulthood?”

But there is another factor to weigh in on, and that is the increasing use of technology to do our thinking for us. The electronic babysitter.

Electronic Lobotomies

Not everyone is subject to the public school system. There are those who understand what is going on and choose another route. They realize that excellence is a worthy goal, and that keeping ones head buried in the newest shiny toy is not the answer to real success. In fact, excessive use of things such as tablets and smartphones can have a negative effect on development.

“When very small children get hooked on tablets and smartphones, says Dr. Aric Sigman, an associate fellow of the British Psychological Society and a Fellow of Britain’s Royal Society of Medicine, they can unintentionally cause permanent damage to their still-developing brains. Too much screen time too soon, he says, “is the very thing impeding the development of the abilities that parents are so eager to foster through the tablets. The ability to focus, to concentrate, to lend attention, to sense other people’s attitudes and communicate with them, to build a large vocabulary—all those abilities are harmed.” (Psychology Today)

You see it around you every day. Large groups of people with their faces buried in their cell phones, never bothering to look up and speak to the person right next to them. Playing endless games, having remote relationships so that they can be ended without effort or emotional expense – just the touch of the delete key and poof! gone.

And it is getting worse by the minute.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not against technology. It is a useful tool. But is the tool now becoming the master?

“The chief technology officer of eBay sends his children to a nine-classroom school here. So do employees of Silicon Valley giants like Google, Apple, Yahoo and Hewlett-Packard.

But the school’s chief teaching tools are anything but high-tech: pens and paper, knitting needles and, occasionally, mud. Not a computer to be found. No screens at all. They are not allowed in the classroom, and the school even frowns on their use at home.

Schools nationwide have rushed to supply their classrooms with computers, and many policy makers say it is foolish to do otherwise. But the contrarian point of view can be found at the epicenter of the tech economy, where some parents and educators have a message: computers and schools don’t mix.

This is the Waldorf School of the Peninsula, one of around 160 Waldorf schools in the country that subscribe to a teaching philosophy focused on physical activity and learning through creative, hands-on tasks. Those who endorse this approach say computers inhibit creative thinking, movement, human interaction and attention spans.” (New York Times)

In other words, those who invented most of the technological applications we use today understand that if they are used incessantly, can lead to the inhibition of creative thinking, movement, human interaction and attention spans. They know that there is a difference between mediocrity and excellence. They choose excellence. Simply pass/fail and keeping one’s head buried in the newest IPad is not good enough for them, and it shouldn’t be good enough for us.

The Bottom Line

Our public school system is calling mediocrity excellence, and our society is paying the ultimate price. It is cranking out a nation of immature individuals who will eventually be the perpetual child tyrants leading this country. We turn our children over to electronic babysitters that actually inhibit the qualities inherent in excellence, and can’t wait to be manipulated by those who say they have our best interests at heart, who are merely in it for the almighty dollar. In fact, we stand in line and beg for their newest toy.

Land of the free and home of the brave? You decide.

 

©2017 Barbara H. Peterson

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7 Responses to “Tyranny of the Perpetual Child”

  1. Carole says:

    Excellent article. Unfortunately parents have no say in schools any longer . If you disagree with a curriculum they make you look like a conspirator to the public. Humiliate and embarrass is their mode to silence. They use the military ‘Delta’ techniques to make you ‘think’ your input had been included,(it hasn’t )!
    Louis Gatto so good to see your still out there. I gave away my last copy of your great speech. Do you have a website? You are spo on . All school board members , and parents should be required to listen to you. God Bless you for being out there and doing what you do.

  2. SanityClaus says:

    Geometry is not taught in public schools. They have books with the word “Geometry” printed on the cover, but there is no geometry contained on the pages of the book. There is no Euclid’s Elements.
    The Elements of Euclid is not a collection of Algebraic formulae
    describing two and three dimensional object. It is not a memorizing contest. Euclid’s Geometry teaches the human mind to recognize what constitutes a rational proof of an argument. That is why it is not taught in public schools.

  3. it is however the responsibility of the Parents to teach their children
    why TRUTH really matters in life and not politically correct narratives
    manufactured at the lie factory…

    Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

    http://biblehub.com/kjv/proverbs/22.htm

    stupid will never change true…

    GET THE MUG SHOTS…

  4. Walter Raymond says:

    It’s really a shame that no matter how hard you try, as a parent you’ll see some sort of this fallen society rub off on our kids. Technology was once thought of to make life more convenient, yet has become the ultimate fall of man. As a New Orleans tow truck driver, I can’t tell you how many wrecks I’ve seen because people, teens and adults, who couldn’t put down the phone while driving.

    But I digress, the real fall come from our moral and biblical illiteracy, which sustained us for so many years. In America, God blessed us because of following of his tenets. We can’t say the same now.

  5. David says:

    The “frontier thinkers” as they called themselves,took control of the public school system pretty much, between 1933(humanist manifesto 1) to 1941,and the parents back then took notice on what was going on, and stood up to it!They backed off, but they never ever quit!I think that from 1965 to 73, they got back if not surpassed, where they were at in 1941, then took it to the next level,with humanist manifesto 2, Their first fruits blossomed in 1964, when the first boomers graduated high school and went on to collage. A coincidence that there was so many riots on the collage campuses by 1968-1970?Most “teachers” public and collage, need to be at the least, fired and striped of tenure,taken out and lashed with a bullwhip at least 10-20 times, some jailed for at least 5 years, and a few, hung. They have poisoned the minds of generations.Now, we are going to pay as a nation, a bloody price for Not again standing up to the educrats, as was done between 1939 to 1941.

  6. Louis Gatto says:

    Thank you… well said.

    Louis

  7. Thank you. Long overdue. Having traversed the line of 70 years, heading to 80 years, I sorrow over the off-spring, children and grandchildren.

    So sad. They each and all had so much more than they could accommodate, no ethical or moral or spiritual framework to deal with what they got in their face. No parents or grandparents to teach them Truth, Light and Love.

    No blame. Just sadness.