We are going to tackle these two chapters today so that we will then be ready to jump into Part Four of this book which details the whole HOW as parents we can hold onto our children or RECLAIM our children if we feel that connection has been lost.
So, Chapter 12 is entitled “A Sexual Turn” and starts by discussing that the age of first sexual activity is becoming younger and younger. In 1997 study by the Centers for Disease Control, 6.5 percent of ninth-grade girls and 15 percent of ninth-grade boys reported having sex before the age of thirteen. The authors also discuss the general debasement of sexual activity and the difference between the use of sex as a primitive tool of attachment and having sexual intercourse as an expression of genuine love and intimacy. The authors point out that even in a very short period of time a teenager’s ties with the family can weaken, for example if parents are suffering with depression or preoccupation with their careers, because that is how very vulnerable our children are today. Children today are using sex as a way to attach to peers, how sexuality in children leads to hardened emotional states with little vulnerability.
Chapter 13, “Unteachable Students” documents the disruption children attaching to peers causes in the classroom with academics going downhill. The authors write: “The reading abilities of schoolchildren appear to have declined, despite the heavy emphasis many schools have placed on literary skills in recent years. Our teachers have never been better trained than today, our curriculum never as developed, and our technology as sophisticated. What has changed? Once more we return to the pivotal influence of attachment. The shift in attachment patterns of our children has had profoundly negative implications for education.”
The authors state that four elements are of import for a child to have a teachable mind: a natural curiosity, an integrative mind, an ability to benefit from correction, and a relationship with the teacher. Peer attachment undermines that as curiosity is considered “uncool” and the academic subjects being studied at school have no importance in being connected with peers so therefore become unworthy of time or energy on the part of the child.
For those of you reading along, any thoughts on these chapters? I am looking forward to delving into Part Four!