Ah, the kiss & ride.
Could there be a more stressful way to start your day than to participate in your local school’s kiss & ride? I don’t think so.
It is hell.
All encompassing, rip your hair out, hell on wheels.
And sadly, it is reflective of our society as a whole.
We are in the age of entitlement. Unfortunately, it’s not just today’s children that feel they are entitled. Their parents are proudly paving the path to entitlement.
Somewhere over the last decade, our society has changed. There has been a dynamic shift in what is acceptable from a behavioural perspective.
Somewhere along the lines, common courtesy and good character have been thrown to the wayside and replaced with rage, annoyance, disrespect and entitlement.
Per the Merriam-Webster dictionary, entitlement is defined as,
the condition of having a right to have, do, or get something;
the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something (such as special privileges)
Which brings us back to the kiss & ride; the proof in our day to day lives that our society has lost its bearings.
There are civil rules, hell, there are laws, in the kiss & ride. For example,
Do not park in the fire route. Do not leave your car.
Do not leave your car running. Yield to pedestrians.
Use common sense (especially challenging for many people).
This does not happen. Ever. Instead, there are cars abandoned everywhere, blocking fire routes and blocking other cars. Blocking the driveway. Children don’t know where it is safe to cross so they can be seen dangerously running about traffic searching for their parents. Crossing guards, bless their souls, are frantically trying to maintain order amidst chaos while being sworn at or ignored altogether.
The message being sent is loud and clear.
I am here for my child. I do not care why you are here. The only thing that matters is that I get my child. I do not care if I have to run yours over to get to mine. If I have to speed down the street to ensure I am there on time. If I have to give you the finger, yell at you in the driveway or break the law. I am entitled to get what I want, when I want it and I want to get my child right now.
If everyone took a step back, demonstrated patience, showed respect for others, we would all be able to pick our children up from school in a safe and orderly fashion.
When did your sense of entitlement become more important than the safety of all other children?
Why does your rush to get somewhere threaten our entire neighbourhood’s safety?
There is a disturbing parallel. This age of entitlement coincides with an increase in bullying and behavioural issues in schools.
According to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research,
1 in 3 adolescents reported being bullied recently.
47% of Canadian parents reported their child has been a victim of bullying.
40% of working Canadians reported being bullied on a weekly basis.
How can we put an end to bullying when adults continue to exhibit such bold disobedience of societal norms and expectations?
We, the adults, are responsible for guiding our children and teaching them that societal norms matter and that disobedience of societal norms and values will not be tolerated. But this disobedience continues to be tolerated!
It circles back to this sense of entitlement.
Some 21st century parents have lost their good character, their respect for others, their rational thought. There is an urgency driven by check lists and extra curriculars; by responsibilities and stress; by family dynamics that appear to no longer foster respect, patience and tolerance.
These parents will do anything they can to check something off their list, to move onto the next task. At any cost. Even at the cost of your child’s safety. There just isn’t time, in their minds, to be cautious or slow; there is too much to do.
Is that it? Is it that this world we are living in is so demanding and moving at such a fast pace that there just isn’t time to think of others; to slow down, to show respect for humanity as a whole? It is the me generation. Me, me, me.
As a result, our children are growing up in an environment where they are taught to put their needs first and to do so at any cost. We are creating a generation that will grow up to be dependent, selfish individuals. No collective reasoning. No actions to support the greater good (look at vaccinations, don’t get me started). A worldview that no longer considers the world. A very narrow view of self and their immediate surroundings.
We have to get off this road to entitlement.
It is critical that our children are taught the societal norms and values that ensure the day to day functioning of our world.
Who is going to do this?
It starts with you.
It starts at home.
It starts in the kiss & ride.
© The Flip of the Switch, January 2016.