Children with big problems

PUBLISHED: 13:45 29 September 2006 | UPDATED: 22:16 28 May 2010

Never have I despaired more for the future of our youngsters. I have regularly placed the blame for the bulk of the malaise that is the youth of today at the feet of parents, and the last few days there has been proof positive that I – along of course wit

Never have I despaired more for the future of our youngsters.

I have regularly placed the blame for the bulk of the malaise that is the youth of today at the feet of parents, and the last few days there has been proof positive that I - along of course with many others - am right.

My eyebrows were first raised at the weekend during a shopping trip. I dislike shopping at the best of times, but a few alterations chez Asplin mean I have been forced to accompany my wife on shopping trips to offer opinions on issues such as furniture and carpeting.

The raised eyebrows quickly became genuine anger as I watched a child, aged about six, leaping on and off an expensive settee, rolling around on it and balancing on the retractable leg rests.

His parents were unconcerned and continued chatting just a few feet away.

A salesman arrived, looked at the lad for a few moments . . . and walked away, clearly concerned about offending a potential customer, and the lost sale, maybe even legal action, that could ensue.

I calmed down for a few minutes before coming across three children jumping up and down on a three-piece suite in the same shop, and then watched in disbelief as two youngsters chased each other around and over carpet rolls and samples, oblivious to the adults who were forced to step aside for them. Again, the parents did nothing.

Having bored my wife for the rest of the day with assertions of how things were so much better in my day, and even when our children were young, I then stumbled on the story of the empty-headed bunch of mothers making deliveries of chips and other fast food through a school fence because the pupils were unhappy with the new regime of healthy school meals.

If ever there was a case of parents undermining authority by teaching their offspring that it's okay to circumvent the rules and do just what they like, this was it.

I gather this no-brainer of a scheme, at a Rotherham comprehensive school, has now stopped, but I can't help wondering about the confusion and major problems the children of all these vacuous parents will have to endure in the real world in a few years' time.

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