Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Little-League Syndrome and Learned Incompetence

REFERENCE: Ruben Navarrette, "America must end its complacency," Ventura County Star. 2 May 2017: 9A

             In an effectively-argued attack on complacency among US Boomers, GenX, and Millennials, Ruben Navarrette is both too restrained and too expansive in arguing "America must end its complacency" (Star May 2, 2017).
            Concerning child-raising, Navarrette is too young to appreciate how much many American parents the last couple generations indoctrinated their kids in learned incompetence. I've called it "Little-League Syndrome," but the problem includes school sports teams and the other ways that adults organize the play of young children and what should be apprentice-adults. Kids today play better ball than we did, and the "syndrome" has been generally good for father-daughter relationships; but many American children have been taught that they're incompetent to organize even a pick-up softball game, and adolescents are taught they're incompetent to run their own park sports leagues.
            Until 1960, anyway, high school students in Chicago could join (illegal) high school fraternities and sororities, and social/athletic clubs and did organize park sports leagues — and run some of our dances and at least one charity.
            No more; now there's constant adult supervision, and control.
            On the other hand. there is "the migration habit" with individuals and peoples learning that one way to deal with bad situations is to move on. Outside of real horror shows involving a lot of death, though, only some of the people move on; others have stayed, and they, too, have a point. Similarly for people's staying on jobs long enough to learn the jobs well and for workers to form communities.
            "Change is good," on occasion, but so are continuity, stability, and not having to "re-tool" constantly.
            So: Let the kids out to play and start treating adolescents like young adults. But also allow people reasonable security, including job security, and the chance to settle down.

No comments:

Post a Comment