I have always held a soft spot for the Manic Street Preachers…
I was not a punk so their early stuff did nothing for me but when their music became more mainstream, I started to enjoy their rhythmic songs and then when I found out how the band dealt with the missing lyricist and lead guitarist Richie Edwards my admiration of this group was cemented.
Let me tell you more.
Richie Edwards, a talented musician and song writer, was a major contributor to the band’s growing success. But as the band started to drift away from their punk origins, Edwards became increasingly disillusioned and as the demons took over he begun to drink heavily and self-harm…eventually he was admitted to ‘The Priory’; the cost of which was covered by some extra concerts that the band organised.
With his health apparently improving, Edwards re-joined the band and with their popularity growing a promotional trip to the USA was scheduled but on the day they were due to fly out he disappeared. Edwards is thought to have left his London hotel in the early hours and returned to his apartment in Wales before vanishing without trace. That was February 1st 1995 and the police file remains open to this day.
With the remaining band holding onto the belief that Edwards would return one day they set up a trust for him and have continued to pay 25% of the royalties into it.
In the modern day where there is so much greed and selfishness I have always respected the band for the amazing loyalty they showed towards Edwards.
So the other day while driving “if you tolerate this then your children will be next” was selected randomly by my music centre and I immediately thought what a great and relevant title for a blog.
A few days ago I was walking Ralph (Cockapoo) across the meadow behind our house when I bumped into a couple of ladies and a young girl who were exercising their dogs.
While we exchanged pleasantries the 3 dogs and the little girl played together prompting her mother to say “it makes be so happy to watch Sophie interact because until recently she was a painfully shy child and suffered terribly from anxiety”. It transpired that Sophie was 8 years old and the daughter of a mother who…yep…struggled with anxiety. This honest admission then prompted her friend to tell me that she too struggled with severe anxiety and guess what…yep…so did her 15 year old daughter.
Both were having therapy.
A few years back while writing my book and close friend told me about an issue he was trying to address with his eldest son. Mark (father) was a perfectionist – a trait shared by Oliver, who happened to be a very good tennis player. But due to his perfectionist demands “he was getting extremely irritated and “darn right unpleasant” when he makes mistakes and this was having a detrimental effect on his progress as well as MAKING HIM VERY UNPOPULAR,” Mark explained.
“If you tolerate this then your children will be next”… do you see the connection?
Children don’t do what we tell them to do; they emulate what they see us do…good or bad.
Sophie’s mother conceded that her daughter’s behaviour is learned and that this is really worrying her. The mother went on to explain that Sophie had told her that she knew when her mum was troubled because her mannerisms changed. Children miss nothing BY DESIGN!!!
So what is happening here?
For the first 7ish years of our life our brains have an insatiable appetite for information.
During our early years we learn through observing and then copying the behaviours of those around us. We don’t have the ability to question what we see, we just assume that whatever mummy or daddy is doing, is what you should do when dealing with a particular issue. So an ‘anxious’ mother or a ‘perfectionist’ father might think that their little ‘bundle’ is immune from their own personal struggles but this thought is so far from the reality as the experiences of these three parents demonstrates.
I am totally convinced that the bulk of the human race want the best for their children and will do everything possible to protect them, against those crazy demands of the modern world that are affecting them so negatively. However due to a quirk of nature, the next generation, is simply copying what they see to become a clone of their parents, which I would suggest for most, is a horrendous thought.
Well look at the evidence.
Over 6 million adults in the UK are currently being treated for depression; alcohol and drug abuse is out of control; personal debt is spiralling and the suicide rate, especially amongst men, is at an all-time high.
And here’s the rub…a large percentage of individuals who are currently struggling with some horrible psychological problems will be a parent, who undoubtedly will try and hide their problems from a child who has nothing more to do, than observe and monitor that parent 24/7.
Humans are the only animal on this planet that can effect change.
It is tough though, because our subconscious, which holds all of our good or bad behaviour files is not designed to make changes without a struggle.
But if you really do want to change, if nothing else for the sake of your child, then being consistent and repetitive will gradually reconfigure any default setting that triggers behaviours that no longer serve you well.
Our children surely deserve better.