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October 12, 2009
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Our parenting skills
have devolved,
deflated, been
packed up
and shot into space.

The latest urban vogue
is the electronic ball and chain
for 12 year-olds.
Monitored by satellites
built from our
dispatched fear,
we teach them
no values but hate.

The rebel child
doesn't spring
from the genetic pool
fully formed.
No chain will ever
mend a broken
childhood.

You can orbit
all you want,
but the absence of
love
will never show
as a point of interest
on Google Earth.
A new proposal from the right wing of the Danish government suggests using a type of satellite-monitored electronic ball and chain to keep track up unruly children down to the age of 12. Curfews would be put into place, and the police would have authority to transport the kids home if they were out at night.

This will most likely never become law, but I am appalled that we're even thinking along those lines here. Put the damn parents in chains if you really have to do something that stupid! Kids aren't dogs, and they can't be trained as such.

Ugh, there are so many heartless people in this country!
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:iconbcatt:
bcatt Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2009
It truly does take a community to raise a child...and not the pseudo-communities found at government run centres.
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:iconneonxaos:
neonxaos Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Nope, and once the youths are going down the wrong paths, we don't have the proper prcedures in place to guide them back either. We just have a few hardworking people with limited resources, and then the government sometimes focuses on one specific problem area at a time, because it will look good in the media. We need a concerted effort.
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:iconbcatt:
bcatt Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2009
The government was my legal guardian for about a decade, and in a lot of ways it wasn't much better than the home I was "rescued" from. The well-meaning participants are few and far between, and are drowned out in the bureaucra-silly of it all. In some places, it was almost like being on house arrest without the electronic monitoring anklet. There was little guidance, and a lot of testing whether we were fitting in the cookie-cutter standards. This (and worse - I don't harbour any illusions that my plights were very horrid in comparison to what some people experience) is what happens when "familY" and "community" are institutionalized.
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:iconneonxaos:
neonxaos Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Ah, I didn't know you were removed from your home - that's a rough deal. So you have really seen what goes on and how... mechanical the system can be.
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:iconyouinventedme:
YouInventedMe Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2009   Writer
the second & fourth stanzas are my favorite(s)
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:iconneonxaos:
neonxaos Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
They are so contemporary! XD
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:iconpadme-naberrie:
padme-naberrie Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2009
Wow...that's really messed up (not the poem, don't worry xD)
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:iconneonxaos:
neonxaos Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
It is indeed!
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:iconavfc4me:
avfc4me Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2009
Then again...

they just found a girl a stones' throw from my current home...

who'd been kidnapped 18 years ago. She's spent the last 18 years living in some degenerate lunatic's back yard...in a tent...raped regularly and now mother to two children of her own, who similarly have grown up living in a tent in a back yard, confined from life, without education, socialization, medical care, dental care, or sane people.

Maybe it sounds like a horror to strap a GPS on your kid; then again, maybe it brings a bit of peace of mind that you can let your child run around and have some sense of freedom without letting them out the front door and then following them around hiding behind bushes to make sure they're still safe from this world of scary [real] monsters and madmen...

Just a thought. I mean, at a certain age, you want your children the opportunity to gain some independence and explore their world through their eyes, cultivate friendships and just be kids. But I confess; I don't let my 8 year old play out front unless I'm out there where I can keep an eye on him.

Sounds extreme? Yes, I'd think so too, ten years ago. But then, a school superintendent wasn't leaving warning messages on my phone machine about once or twice a month regarding incidents around the schools: creepy old men trying to get little girls to get in their cars; perverts flashing body parts at little boys; near-misses of an overly-distracted mom-mobile nearly plowing into a couple of 8-year-old bikers.

I'm not saying it's right; I'm just sayin': this ain't our parents' world...and you just don't know how terrifying it is, how precarious the balance is, between letting them live, and keeping them safe...

Maybe...it is't about NOT-loving them. Maybe, it's about loving them too much.

(Not to say you're wrong. Just thought I'd offer another perspective)
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:iconneonxaos:
neonxaos Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
No, I do understand your view on things. I just think it's going about things the wrong way. We should not HAVE to protect our children from our society, we should form society so that children can live in it, and we should raise our children to be decent human beings. Having said that, there is definitely a difference between an 8 year-old and a 12 year-old. Small children have to be watched, but I don't think parents should need Big Brother-like equipment to do so. I think that's a scary prospect, but maybe I'm a little old-fashioned after all. And I'm also a naive, utopian idealist.

It must be said that this proposal (and my poem) is actually technically about something quite the opposite, namely keeping delinquent youths from wreaking havoc. In this country, we actually have problems with very young children forming gangs and smashing stuff up. And then they grow up and become really nasty. I have a very close friend who works on the street and sees this happen on a daily basis, but I very much doubt she would agree with the government's methods. What happened to dialogue and proactive measures? What happened to helping the helpless? Slapping a ball and chain on people with only contain the problem for a while, but I am absolutely convinced that it will make everything much worse in the long run.

I thank you for your interesting comment, though. You have much more insight into raising a child than I have, and I certainly can see where you're coming from on this. Your opinion stands as a great, contrasting footnote, and it's always good to hear several angles in a discussion like this.
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