Thursday, 3 July 2014
Don't suffer the children
Don’t have kids. Or, if you must, have thick ones. Trust me, you definitely don’t want a clever one. Quite apart from the risk of them becoming smart arses and trying your patience into the next Ice Age you will feel compelled, by whatever universal force drives good parents, to mortgage your very lives to have them schooled as expensively as possible, only to find that if this does indeed bring them huge success they then disown you and your parochial working ways. Or else they drop out, grow hippy beards, turn vegan and become objects of your own confused disdain. Or worse, they become politicians...
Of course, some of the bright ones have a chance of succeeding despite the forces ranged against them, even without family financial sacrifices – scholarships, natural intelligence, entrepreneurial curiosity and good old-fashioned serendipity may all play a part in pulling up their bootstraps. But don’t count on it. And don’t underestimate the potential resentment of a clever kid who doesn’t make a mark. There are plenty of examples of intelligent low-achievers who struggle to break out of the cycle of blaming their meagre origins for their failure to achieve all that they aspire to.
No, on the whole having a child genius is just as likely to result in misery and guilt as to be a source of pride. So maybe you think you’d be better off with an average kid? Progeny who can cope with the Three Rs, knuckle down and become good citizens, productive workers and eventually the source of adored grandchildren. Sadly no, because you are condemning them to a life of toil and drudge to pay for those squeaky wheels whose only instinct appears to be the belief that the world exists to be their despised plaything. Those drains on the public purse whose social bank balance will always remain overdrawn. If it’s inward investment you’re after, have one of those.
Pop out a real thug of a thicko. At nursery his demands will be legitimised by being identified as having special educational requirements. He (or she, but statistically it will be a he) will quickly learn that he doesn’t need to learn; all his whims will be catered for by a veritable army of social workers, home visitors, special needs teachers, classroom assistants, psychologists and sociologists and and and... They will toilet train him for you and do their best to keep him out of trouble and a higher than normal per-capita proportion of the nation’s wealth will be visited upon him with no demands for repayment in usefulness.
If he is especially sub-human the state will fork out ever greater sums to keep him in care, in various institutions, in prisons and rehabilitation centres, in hospitals for the criminally insane and eventually in an old folks home. He will be sent on holidays dressed up as developmental treatment along with state-funded lackeys who will be described as therapists because we have lost the will to hold people to account and instead reward their intolerance and selfish sense of entitlement with undue deference that only reinforces their loathsome behaviour. Oh and then they go on to have a multitude of thick kids of their own.
Apart from the biological urge – and urges can be overcome - I don’t know why anybody would ever have kids at all. It’s a bloody minefield, a coin-toss… a lottery. Maybe the world would just be better off with fewer children in it altogether. Two decades it take before you begin to see a material return on investment and then probably another two before a vanishingly small proportion of them start to turn a meagre profit. As a nation we’d be far better off breeding pigs.