The Age of Reason?

I was reading through the "quirky" news on and saw this:

Boy, 12, sticks gum on £850,000 painting

A 12-year-old boy on a school trip to a US museum stuck a piece of chewing gum to a valuable painting.


Julie Kildee, director of the Holly Academy, where the boy is a pupil, said he had been suspended and that his parents had also taken disciplinary action.

"Even though we give very strict guidelines on proper behaviour and we hold students to high standards, he is only 12 and I don't think he understood the ramifications of what he did before it happened, but he certainly understands the severity of it now," said Kildee.
I know that this is an example from the US, but we're as bad with our willingness to excuse bad and criminal behaviour on the basis that "children don't understand the consequences of their actions"; yet those same (generally liberal) apologists are the ones who concurrently lobby for the reduction of the age of consent and for the extension of the franchise to 16 year olds because they're "young adults with opinions that deserve respect"!

I don't have children, don't really mix with them nor have an interest in producing any in the future, but I certainly remember being aware of the right way to behave when I was much younger than 12 and knowing, on the occasions that I did "bad" things, that I was being naughty. Do children these days really not have a clue as to what 'normal' behaviour is; and if they don't, is it (as I believe) because parents are failing to bring their children up from birth with an understanding of what's acceptable? I deplore as much as anyone else the way that the state is interfering in the way parents are allowed to bring up their children, but if love and respect are instilled from a young age, surely this relationship will be enough to counter the effects of pop culture when the child reaches the age where they're inclined to rebel.
I am not surprised instances like this happen. As a parent of two (9 and 5 years old) I know what its like to try and discipline kids. My kids know right from wrong but I wouldn't say the same for other kids there age.

I blame the parents and the weak back up that teachers get at schools. Discipline starts at home but must be allowed to continue at school. My wife now works in a Nursery where she is not allowed to call the children naughty or to put them in a naughty corner. Its all to softly sottly for my liking.


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The age of criminal responsibilty is 8 up here in Scotland (10 in England) and you would reasonably expect someone to understand the consequences of their actions by 12 ffs.

If I had acted like that at even younger than twelve, my dad's hand would have been killing him from the damage inflicted to my arrse!

I suppose it's another symptom of this wrap them in cotton wool attitude that seems so prevalent nowadays. The Scottish Football Association actually introduced a rule in kids' games whereby if one side was winning too heavily at half time the losing side would be brought level on goals so as not to encourage competition and the losers wouldn't be upset.

I'll stop now for fear of breaking into a 'when I were a lad' rant about practically living on dirt, falling out of trees, disappearing at 0800 on a Saturday morning and not being seen again by the parents until 2200, making somewhat experimetal crossbows (sharpened peg in the leg, anyone?), being twatted by my best mate with a golf club and the like :)

Edit: the censored word above started with a T, ended in a D and had a 'watte' in the middle.
A bloody good thrashing is what they need! It never did us any harm and it certainly made us think before we did wrong again.The trouble is that kids of today know that what ever they do they will get away with it...........Bring back the birch!.............for parents and kids !
All you have to do is watch programmes like "Super Nanny" or "Brat Camp" and you can start to see that there are many parents that don't know how to bring kids up. No home rules or routine. No discipline. Kids who want for nothing. And the strange thing is that the softer these parents are, the more unhappy thier kids are.

If it's bad in the home it gets worse at school. Everything kids should be doing is banned for fear of legal action should "Little Timmy" graze his knee running on the play ground. Then teachers only seem to want to play with the kids in the classroom and expect the parents to do the teaching at home. We got a note from the school saying that sweets and chocolate would be confiscated should the children be found with them or have them in lunch boxes. Next I hear that the teachers give out sweets for good behaviour. Am I right in thinking that some 24 year old graduate thinks they know best and can dictate to parents and that they decide when our kids can have sweets.
The problem with the idea of 'deferred success' instead of failure and with adjusting the score so that children's teams don't lost too heavily is that kids playing a game of football still know that they are rubbish and that the only reason the scoreline doesn't reflect this is that it has been tampered with. It doesn't actually con them into thinking that they are just as good as the team that has thrashed them 20-0, because the score given at the end was 5-0 or something. It's absolutely ridiculous.

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