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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Feral children used to be called Mowgli. Now, feral teens could be on a street near you.

I've heard this "feral" phrase before, ie, feral children found living in the wild with wolves etc.

I've also read about gangs of children (as young as 7 or 8)together with older kids, said to live in challenging neighbourhoods or "sink" estates, who start fires and then pelt arriving fire fighters and ambulance staff with stones and airgun pellets.
Why would these kids do that ? Surely not "just" because they live in socially deprived areas.
It takes more than social deprivation to act like thugs and criminals against public services, whose sole presence is to render aid and make people safe.
It sounds more like Armageddon, when roaming gangs terrorise and pillage others, who happen to be in their path.
I must admit I thought these "feral" acts were mainly on inner city estates and large towns with well known "sink" estates.

In Manchester, Tim Fensome has been a firefighter for 26 years, yet an increasing part of his working life is spent facing youths hell-bent on abusing and attacking him and his colleagues.
The situation is getting worse" he says. Read more here...

Now, I see that even Wales, that country of rolling hills and verdant valleys has similar problems in "....many small South Wales valleys communities", according to new research for the Fire Brigades Union.
You can read more about this here...

Whilst, Wales has clearly had it's economy shattered by the closure of its mining industry, surely those hard working mining families (and welsh chapel backgrounds) haven't all disappeared, have they ?
What is happening to our society today, that some children are so socially challenged, that they are almost feral in their behaviour towards others?

Where are their role models (parents and extended families) to foster basic decency and social responsibility to others ?

I suppose watching violent videos (or playing shoot 'em up computer games at a young age) and lack of parental control, must create such a distorted sense of reality for these kids, that anything goes....

In which case, ASBO's and youth clubs are clearly not going to have much impact, are they ?

Personally, I think the demise of the extended family, the rise in single parent families, the increase in social mobility, the increase in social fears about allowing children outside alone, the increase in adults' working hours, and the fashion for 'hippy' child-rearing where children are not given fixed boundaries are all combining to make children more likely to trangress.
But that's just me. :)
Thanks for calling by - and linking.
lectrise: All of your comments are true, and yet I'm still left wondering how those kids can become more socially responsible.

Mr.D. Thanks.
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