Committed and responsible parents are frustrated. Our cues are not being
taken, our directives are ineffective, and it appears our children would rather
be elsewhere than at home. Despite our loving care kids seem highly stressed.
Parents and other elders no longer appear to be the natural mooring point for
the young, as used to be the case with human beings and is still the case with
all other species living in their natural habitats. Senior generations, the
parents and grandparents of the baby boomer group, look at us with
incomprehension. "We didn't need how-to manuals on parenting in our days, we
just did it," they say, with some mixture of truth and misunderstanding.
This state of affairs is ironic, given that more is known about child
development than ever before. More courses and books are available on child
rearing, and we can offer our children more things to do and explore. We
probably live in a more child-centred universe than our predecessors did.
So what has changed? The problem, in a word, is context. Parenting is not
something we can engage in with just any child, no matter how well intentioned,
skilled or compassionate we may be. Parenting requires a context to be
effective. A child must be receptive to our parenting for us to be successful in
our nurturing, comforting, guiding and directing. Children do not automatically
grant us the authority to parent them just because we are adults, or just
because we love them or know what is good for them or have their best interests
at heart. Those who parent other people's children are often confronted by this
fact, be they step-parents, adoptive parents, foster parents, grandparents,
babysitters, nannies, daycare providers or teachers. Less obviously but of great
importance is the fact that even with one's own children the natural parenting
authority can become lost if the context for it becomes eroded.
British Parliament asks Amazon to clarify why it pays $9 million in income tax on $23 billion of UK sales.(May 20 2013) Amazon will be called back to give further evidence to members of the British Parliament "to clarify how its activities in the U.K. justify its low corporate...