Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D,B.C.S.A.,DAPA.

Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D,B.C.S.A.,DAPA.
e-mail: batushkad@yahoo.com

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Children have been seen as property, with few rights, and subject to the domination of others who may not always have their best interests in mind. Children are viewed as slaves, as dependent. If adults treat them badly, they have little recourse. When the reach the arbitrary age of 18, they are then expected tom assume the role and responsibilities of an adult. What if we gave children the rights of adults and taught them responsibility from the beginning? Adult society has been involved in numerous wars, conflicts, attrocities, why do we think we know what is best for children, why do we think we know better than children themselves? Holt (1973) suggested that children should hasve equal treatment under the law. They should be able to participate in the political process, to be legally responsible for their choices and acts; to have privacy; to manage their education; and to decide who is to be their guardian. If we taught children the concept of freedom combined with responsibility, we would certainly see the lessening of many of the troubling scenarios facing young people today. Instead, adult society seeks to control children, and does not provide them with the proper guidance and support, it creates children who are oppressed and neglected, who then rebel against the adults who have hurt them in often unproductive and self destructive ways. If all human beings, children and adults, were accorded the same basic humanity, society could be much for the better.
We spend thousands on residential treatment facilities, detention centers, treatment programs, etc. for youth, but what if we could be pro-active, what if we could instead take these funds and invest them into what our children truly need? The money spent on residential treatment which has dubious outcomes is enormous. And at times a child is placed in such facility from a troubled family life, it makes them more of a conformist to the facilities expectations, and then returns them back to the troubled family dynamics, only to create a vicious cycle. If the children were allowed the ability to live on their own or to choose their guardian from those who may actually care for them, just think what funds which are now funneled to the psychiatric establishment could do for the advancement of children. We are speaking of around $70-100,000 per year, the child could have the best education, travel and explore, and be out of situations of poverty and oppression. But instead, the establishment would rather have its hands on these funds and it needs to keep the vicious cycle going as this is its source of profit. Keep people distressed, keep them labeled, make them "ill' and we will constantly have a flow of profits.

-Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.

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