When it comes to undermining young people, I have grouped adults into three main categories: well-meaning adults, indifferent adults, and hostile adults. This is about hostile adults.
Hostile adults don’t like young people. They are genuinely and overtly determined to maintain over-controlling relationships with children and youth.
Generally bounded by distrust or misunderstanding of young people, hostile adults’ attitudes and behaviors are assertively anti-child and anti-youth. They routinely strive to make young people feel like infants who are incapable or subhuman, no matter what their age. They lock doors, code language, and choices made for children and youth that often force adult will upon them. These people frequently use abusive manipulation to domineer over young people, and rely on straight-forward hostility to enforce their way of being.
We live in a time when brutally overt undermining of young peoples’ well-being appears to be waning, with practices like corporal punishment and behavior modification schools becoming less favorable. However, at the same time more children and youth routinely face food insecurity, poor schooling, no health insurance, and blatantly anti-youth legal and economic systems,, than ever before. The simple fact of the matter is that the institutions of society are still largely hostile towards young people.
Unfortunately, these people occupy all stations throughout society. A growing number of parents are hostile adults. So are other people who are supposed to directly serve children and youth, including teachers, childcare workers, youth workers, store clerks, librarians, and others. Indirectly or directly responsible for upholding the well-being of young people, hostile adults also occupy the ranks of police officers, politicians, school principals, mental health counselors, and family doctors. So many of these individuals interact with young people every single day that its no wonder how youth discrimination is relayed from generation to generation.
In order to ensure that adults remain powerful over young people, young people are ultimately undermined throughout their lives, whether by well-meaning adults, indifferent adults, or hostile adults.
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Read Some Other Writers’ Assessments