LETTER: It's important to express emotion
There’s a feature I run on my radio show the Omma n Chain Show for Black Country Radio.
Every Sunday afternoon between 4pm and 6pm, other than showcasing local artists and people, we look at some of the weird stuff that goes on in the world.
What it does do is let us focus on stuff that seems a little odd.
It is very rare that I get involved in anything that is in any way connected to a political movement or group that appears to be banging the drum for the majority but some of the things that have been brought to press and discussed over the last few months seem to me to be extremely dangerous in relation to our children’s future.
I am not saying we should not protect our kids. We live in a very dangerous world and it is a long way from that which I grew up in.
Saying that the suggestions that are being bandied about point to the fact that in many respects we are over-protecting the kids to the extent we are taking, or suggesting we take away, various social interactions that are part and parcel of life.
No clapping, no cheering, no talking in between classes, no hugging.
Part of our existence and that of the animal kingdom is the ability to communicate.
We are supposed to show our emotions, be they happy or sad.
We need, even more so in a world that is governed by flat screens and machines that talk and think for us, to exert actions that are natural to us and to take these away or suggest they are harmful to the growth of our children is a very dangerous move.
The clapping it was suggested marginalises those who are unable. I work with many individuals who physically cannot clap like I can but they find another way, tap their leg, rock their head even in very severe cases blink.
Surely they need to feel part of the group and how do they feel if they think they are the reason everyone else has been prevented from acting in their own way.
Yes I know the silent hand clap is uses in signing, i work with people who use sign language but it again isolates the person who receives the change.
It may be being done for what is thought the right reasons but it focuses on the individuals almost like saying .We know you are different so we’ll all do this to make you feel better.’
The other examples I fear are tools which will prevent children enjoying life and create a more introverted generation. Let them live as we did and learn by being children.
I’m sure there are experts out there that will argue that I don’t understand the deeper harm all these suggestions can have on our children.
All I can say is I‘d sooner be a happy kid who shouts, cheers, hugs and carries out all of the actions that make me who I am, than be told they are all bad for me.
Dr B Dakin aka Billy Spake Mon
Visiting Research Fellow