How Did We Get Here?

With regard to our children, honestly, how in the heck did we get here? Just this morning, two different stories about adults perceiving and treating children very differently; to my mind, one perfectly rational, one completely insane. Yes, it’s not always as simple as that – is it ever? – but I was struck by the almost night-and-day differences in the assumptions made by the adults in both of these stories. No doubt there are differences between the children in each story, as well. But, in general, kids are kids: you can trust them to be many things (impetuous, inexperienced, careless, teachable, optimistic, daring) and expect with equal certainty that (in general) they aren’t many other things (wise, learned, introspective, deliberative, prone to self-doubt).

Reading these two back-to-back, as I did this morning, I couldn’t help but wonder how we – North Americans, I guess – got here. Am I the only one who considers the New York mom in the MSNBC story from the Today Show to be the sane one, and the administrators from the few schools mentioned in the Jezebel article to be off their rockers?

UPDATE: Well, at least abstinence education seems to be working as a way to help children mature, in Florida.