Scene 1 (Yesterday):
A student on a school bus misbehaves and causes grief to other students. He is warned that he is at risk of losing the privilege of travelling on the bus. He misbehaves twice more and has the right to travel on the bus removed. The parents are outraged and threaten to take the boy to another school.
Scene 2 (Day before yesterday):
A week of trekking and water-based activities is designed for Year 10 students as part of their initiation into manhood. The exercise is part reflection and part endurance – both of which are designed to enrich character. It rains. In fact, it rains a lot. A parent emails the School concerned that their son has to walk in the rain.
Most parents recognise the dangers of over-protecting and cosseting. However, there is a growing minority that are bubble-wrapping their children and causing within them the inability to deal with challenge or to cope with consequences. A few of our boys also recognise the dangers. I received this delight email from one of them the other day.
If it wasn’t for your Manhood Program, I would have done something at a party I wouldn’t have been proud of.
Ever since coming back (from the Trek]) on Friday, I am a completely changed person.
I would just like to say that you and your program have really made me think and change my ways.
The new childhood ‘is colourful, non-toxic, has no sharp edges and is non-allergenic. But it just sucks.
- Nigel Latta (2009), Confessions of a bad parent -