We had dinner at my wonderful friend Mary Ellen's house last Friday, along with our medieval arts teachers. Great food, good conversation.
At one point the discussion turned to the social repercussions of earbud-itis, a disease which plagues many teens of today. Mary Ellen commented that we are raising a generation of individuals, who isolate themselves in their interests instead of interacting with others. The teachers lamented the decline they've seen in kids' ability to resolve problems with one another. I observed that that's not surprising when parents "fix" sibling conflicts over which TV show to watch by buying each child a television. The discussion raised a question that lingers in my mind:
Why do we as a society put "make the problem go away" higher in our list of priorities than "build conflict-resolution skills in our children"?
Why do we heed the "I can't take this!" earworm that pops into our brains during so many of the rough spots of parenting?
Why are we so afraid of conflict? Why do we let our fears overwhelm the obviously better choice to invest in our children and teach them healthy coping skills?
Why do we as a society give up on problems so easily?
I'm not sure I have any answers here. But I'm interested in what makes us wimpy. I can see why a medieval serf would want Calgon to take him or her away. I can see why someone in the midst of a war zone would wish the same. But why do we?
Thoughts? You're welcome to speak up.