lördag 24 november 2007

The Scapegoats...

photo on Evin Rubar.

[Uppdated November 26 in the end]. I got a tip from a friend about a program in the Swedish TV. In a town in the south of Sweden (Malmö) a school had been burnt to the ground. In this part of the town it lives a lot of immigrants. A Swedish journalist, of Kurdistan origin, had made the program “The Scapegoats” ("Syndabockarna" about spanking children and the results of this).

She had interviewed former students at this school, the headmaster, a psychologist Martin Forster (member of a group called the PRI-group, which ceased to exist 2007!!!), and also tried to interview our school-minister Jan Björklund (and in fact this man is younger than I am, and younger than my fourth sibling - how can that be?? What has HE experienced when he grew up?? I can't help wonder! Which is no excuse at all though. I can't say I like his politics, mildly said). Björklund refused to be interviewed in the program (!!!). It stands on the web that Björklund used what happened in this school as proofs that “harder grips” (i.e. more discipline) are necessary in Swedish schools. And he got the public opinion "with him", and still has (among too many: what have they experienced?). Or it is a certain "sort" he has got with him? In a societal climate that approves of ideas as people like Björklund has? And too many others keep quiet? Too busy to react, working hard? Too stressed?

The school was aware that the children were exposed to violence at home.

Here some swift notes I made when I watched this program at the web:

“You don’t argue with your parents!”
(but keep quiet and obeys??).
“Children obey and show respect to their parents (don’t question them?)”.

A father thought the children should show the teachers at school the same respect as towards the parents at home (what about showing the children respect not disrespect, both a home and in school?). And he (and some children) thought the teachers should be more authoritarian. The children meant that they were calm and quiet at home, but not afraid of being spanked or beaten at school and therefore they acted out things there.

Immigrant-parents beat their children to a higher degree than Swedish parents do a young man thought.

Someone meant that the discussion circled around the topic how the children behaved, not around how they were treated (in first hand at home, but also later in school) when they tried to deal or cope with these problems (their method was to establish how the children behaved or were, not how they were treated). The teachers, or the headmaster, phoned the parents and told them how their children behaved at school, despite children begged them not to, because the children knew what was waiting at home if and when the parents were informed... This was how they tried to cope with the problem at this school. Hmmm., yes, I work as teacher, and ave done a long time... That about phoning parents... But our pupils are the most socially adapted. So we have fewer "reasons"... But all well-behaved and (on the surface) well-adapted children then?

They thought in the program that Björklund played the children out against each others; the obedient against the disobedient (polarizing them!!!). A method parents probably uses... Now reinforced by the ministers acting... (!!!). And he seems to think that the method should be "more of the same"?? But, yes, how do one deal with already harmed children?

Violence is part of how one raise children. An imam and family-therapist (??) thought the immigrant parents (and not only they, but all in our society and country need to be reminded once and again I would say??) need information (a lot probably) about how one raise children (not abusing them!! Either physically or emotionally – or of course not sexually). The psychologist said that research has showed that when the law against spanking children came 1978 (1979??) here in Sweden it got a fairly swift effect!! So there is no reason to "walk like a cat round hot porridge" in this issue/topic!!

It seems as teachers, social-workers, even psychologists, and the headmaster at the school in question, thought you have to take into consideration the differences in different cultures. A teacher (I think) said something in the style that there are so many cases of violence to report to the social welfare so you can’t report them all!! And the headmaster thought “mild” spanking wasn’t harmful. I don’t agree. And a young man didn’t agree either, as didn't the psychologist Martin Forster who was interviewed (bit at first he too minimized the problem he “frankly” admitted – he could have reacted a bit more indignantly there I think).

A young man about “mild” spanking:

“A box on the ear was enough! I got furious at my dad! There was a lot of aggression inside me…”

And he meant that he took this out on others, not his dad.

Spanking a child is a swift, but short-term solution the psychologist said.

As soon as the parent isn’t present the child acts out if he/she gets the opportunity the interviewed boys said (no girls were interviewed!! Invisible?).

A child meant: beaten at home, noisy at school.

The psychologist:

“The children copy/imitate the behavior of choosing violence/abuse as a way to solve conflicts and get her/his will through (which is how parents get their will through). If you don’t get what you want you beat.”

The psychologist further:

“Of course the child obeys immediately if it is beaten, but in the next ‘stage’ the child becomes more aggressive (and more aggressive again), and they becomes less socially adapted/accommodated, get psychic ill health…”

And in an even longer term physical ill-health, as Kirkengen for instance has found…

And the psychologist thought all children in Sweden shall have the same rights.
About Evin Rubar here and here and here.photo on Martin Forster.
In the newspaper this morning you could read that researchers suspect that parental stress causes allergy in children. If a parent is stressed it influences the child in a similar manner. Researchers are exploring if raised contents of the stress-hormone cortisol makes children allergic, that's one of the hypothesis they have... One of three children in Sweden suffer from allergy in different forms (of different severity). Similar tendencies is shown in the whole Western world. Is it a combination of life-style, what we eat, the environment?

And there was an advertisement in the newspaper about the importance of language, of reading and of books... "Läsfest - vikten av ett språk". Thinking of the phenomenon Alexithymia, lack of emotional language... Found an intersting article about alexithymia and its connection to coping strategies... A study on 104 women and 13 men with psychic and physic heavy workloads. Individuals with alexithymia was avoiders and non-help-seeking in difficult situations... See Bosch on defenses... False Power denial of needs for instance.

Having a language, and an emotional language too, articulating ones feelings, distress etc. is protecting!?? That about narrating... And stress-researchers have found that alexithymia and heart and coronary diseases have links. Immigrants show similar symptoms Peter Währborg in Gothenburgh has found.

Also see this article about obsessive-compulsive disorder!

And see this readers' letter on AA, "the danger of AA". Miller answers:
"I agree with everything that Barbara wrote about AA, and I have also written many times about the dangers of this kind of manipulation, hypocrisy, poisonous pedagogy and confusion. You see that you felt the negative influence of this 'treatment' as you write: 'I went into this meeting, but such rage rose in me that I had to leave.' Your rage is understandable and if your therapist regards it as harmless, he may no longer be the right therapist for you [my italics]."
I think she is right.

Addition November 26:

Lena Nyberg, vår Barnombudsman "The Children’s Ombudsman in Sweden", tolkade vår lag mot barnaga senast i maj 2007:

"Sverige är ett föregångsland som i snart 30 år haft ett barnagaförbud. Men i de flesta länder i världen är det fortfarande tillåtet att slå sina barn. Den som flyttar till Sverige behöver därför få tydlig och bra information om att barnaga är förbjudet och en form av misshandel och därför straffbart enligt brotts- balkens regler om misshandel. Alla människor i Sverige är skyldiga att följa svensk lag."

Från Barnombudsmannens hemsida: "Du har rätt att inte bli slagen". "Barnombudsmannen vill ha kampanj mot våld i Sverige"

Article in Norway that women/mothers are as violent towards their children as men/fathers "Women's Violence is Taboo".

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