Friday, October 01, 2010

Where is the attention deficit?

The scientific discovery that so-called "Attention Deficit Disorder" may be inherited by some children has of course now let many millions of parents off the hook for their poorly behaved and anti-social children. Some were reported as being relieved they weren't to blame, as if they were also relieved of responsibility for how their children behave (although a cruel person would argue if it is in the DNA then one shouldn't replicate it) or perform at school.

It is a measure of these times for parents to evade responsibility for their children and their actions. It can be seen in the flippant approach of far too many (men in particular) who don't want to carry the responsibility for their own reproduction. It has long been timeless for teachers to notice the parents who refused to accept responsibility for their children being disruptive or violent at school. I recall my parents being told at parent-teacher evenings they need not have bothered coming along, because the parents the teachers really want to meet are the ones who never turn up - the ones who prioritise TV, the pub, their friends or their latest shag over their own kids.

Whilst undoubtedly medical science will continue to discover bio-chemical and genetic bases for all sorts of behaviour (I await the undoubted discovery that some pedophiles, sadists and masochists are born that way), the mistake is to think that there is nothing that can be done by means other than medication.

As Theodore Dalrymple writes in the Daily Telegraph, the real "attention deficit" is from parents, in particular fathers. He says "far more British children have a television in their bedroom than a biological father living at home throughout their childhood".

The destructive legacy of this is seen in boys growing up looking for male role models in all the wrong places (in the case of some ethnic minorities, gang culture in the teens is rife at both supplying and seeking out fatherless boys), and girls who learn from a certain age the main way many women get male attention, and so seek "daddy" figures of not quite the kind they need. The ease by which attention lacking young people now have communication means to pursue these surrogate father figures who prey upon them is largely ignored, and is probably too shocking for the middle classes to truly accept.

Far easier for some to blame their genes, far easier for politicians on the left to say it is poverty.

Far harder to confront that a combination of the welfare state, the post-modernist abstinence from individual responsibility regarding breeding and the lack of promotion of life values is what is the issue.