Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Helicopter Parents and Other Undesireables

Maybe you've had the misfortune to be seated near them while dining out.  They're the family of three to five whose children scream, run around the restaurant, and generally behave like a tribe of howler monkeys.  The parents are worse than a table full of drunks.  They allow their children to disrupt the rest of the world, and in fact will tell you that this kind of obstreperous behavior is completely acceptable and even cute.  Moreover, the parents believe that their children have the inalienable right to behave this way, no matter who finds it offensive.  Their child is special, precious and a benefit to the world.  These are helicopter parents.

The only thing worse than helicopter parents are helicopter parents with a special needs child.


Consider that the average chopper parent makes unreasonable demands of the world around him to tolerate the unholy racket his pwecious wittle snowfwake is making and absorb the cost of the damage it does all in the name of some nebulous set of children's rights.  Should shit come to sweat and little Johnny breaks a $200 figurine on his annual Christmas visit to a fine china shop, the chopper parents will find that they are legally liable for the little shit's destructive behavior.  Likewise, once in a great while the restaurant management will either exclude children from the dining room, or tell the chopper parents that they have a choice; either make it behave itself or leave, and we'd prefer the latter.  This inevitably leads to a brief public scene between the management and the chopper parents, but the hash gets settled and those of us who are paying for a fine dining experience are now able to enjoy our meal, uninterrupted by primordial screams or attacks by Hottentots.  Just try this when a special needs child is involved.

I have a good deal of empathy for the disabled, either mentally or physically.  I have more empathy for the caregivers, most of whom I believe to be truly angelic.  Hey, life ain't always easy, but what the caregiver does amounts to five miles uphill in the freezing rain with a strong headwind.  All that said, even the appearance of impeding or failing to enable a special needs child is likely to get you tarred and feathered, figuratively speaking. It's this last case, the failure to enable, or in plain speech, failure to lower the bar so that the special needs child can compete successfully in the high jump, that is likely to make you run afoul of the government and court system.

I read the Bayou Renaissance Man (Peter Grant) on a fairly regular basis.  The other day he posted "Special Snowflakes", "Helicopter Parents" and "Fairness", which deals with helicopter parents and their offspring.  Peter's comment is succinct and right on target, although some parents won't agree with him.
If they're convinced they're special, even when they're not, the real world is likely to prove a cruel disappointment - if not a slap in the face. They aren't prepared to face reality. What's worse, they'll find it very difficult, if not impossible, to shed their self-important self-image and realize that they're just one more human being in a world full of them. No-one owes them a thing.
Indeed.  Peter linked to two other articles, both of which I read.  The first is by Margaret Wente, who clearly has her own SJW agenda.  The title and the link prompted me to give it a read.

Our Precious Little Snowflakes by Margaret Wente

The other day a proud father showed me a photo of his son’s graduation.
This celebration of a child’s every accomplishment, however slight, is something new. By the time a kid reaches 18, she will have accumulated boxes and boxes of diplomas, medals, ribbons, trophies and certificates for just showing up – whether she’s any good at anything or not.

I suppose that Ms. Wente believes that this scenario is applicable to females only; boys and men are immune, despite the fact that the subjects (proud father and preschool son) are both male.  I'm being facetious; I think Ms. Wente has an SJW/Feminazi agenda and is promoting it every chance she/he/it gets. Ass.

As Peter points out, the problem is that the boy is being molly-coddled, and when he inevitably gets into his very first playground scrap he'll probably wet himself.  Try living that one down, Ms. Wente.

Damage to kids can be repaired, one way or another.  The second story illustrates a much more serious problem involving government, professional organizations and political correctness.
Christopher Hope, assistant editor and chief political correspondent of The Telegraph, used his bully pulpit and published this blurb about his very own precious snowflake: How I shamed the ballet world over 'discriminating' against disabled ballerinas.

Christopher Hope's seven-year-old daughter Pollyanna was determined to sit her ballet exam despite losing her right leg in a bus crash but after she was marked down because of her disability, ministers are demanding action from the ballet world.

Pollyanna (that couldn't possibly be her real name... could it?) tested in front of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD) and was disappointed she only passed.  I have some experience with the ISTD, and I can tell you in all accurateness and honesty, just passing an exam is a very noteworthy experience.  But if you're a disabled seven year old and you managed to pass, you have bragging rights for the next five years.  Sadly, this wasn't good enough for either Hope or his daughter, and that's where the real trouble begins.  Hope complained to the government, and because he's an assistant editor of an international bird cage liner, the government listened and decided, in their infinite wisdom, to take action.

The obvious problem is that Pollyanna didn't get marked down because of a disability; she got marked down because she was unable to achieve the standard necessary for an honor of some kind. That's how an ISTD exam works.  But since Pollyanna's idiot father doesn't see it that way, and since he's an important person who knows other important people, the ISTD is now between a Detroit rock and a hillbilly hard place.  If the organization, who has always given difficult examinations since its inception in 1904, is forced to lower the bar for anyone who is unable to achieve the merit they (or their parents) think they deserve, what then?

Then I think I'll get my very own dear mother to pester the ISTD into giving me an examiner's license, despite the fact that I don't know the required patterns and, being an overweight, lethargic, 62 year old white male, couldn't dance the patterns even if I did know them.  Since when did lack of knowledge or ability prevent me from achieving my life's dream of becoming an ISTD examiner?  Since before Pollyanna took her exam and only passed it, and her sanctimonious gasbag of a father got involved, that's when.

The worst part is that the ISTD will be forced to come up with some kind of separate but equal compromise, which will provide awards to people who don't deserve them and simultaneously devalue the awards given to hard working students since 1904.  Men and women who were willing to put in the absolutely grueling hours needed to pass an ISTD exam.

This is how it begins, and its point of origin is in the UK commercial media.  We in the United States see the same thing in our public school system, which is graduating more functionally illiterate students than ever.  And that's a crime.

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