According to the BBC today, a school in Somerset has banned Valentine’s Day cards. Not because they’re an over-priced over-commercialised bit of tat that means fuck-all except bigger profits for Clinton Fuckbag Cards (to give them their full stock-exchange title) and their ilk. Oh no, it’s so the little darlings the “emotional trauma” of being rejected if they don’t get a card.
Somewhere along the way, we seem to have become so paranoid about how children deal with failure, they now have no idea at all what to do when failure does happen.
I think it started with the introduction of GCSE exams, where all the grades were a “pass”. (glossing slightly over the “X” and “U” grades – they were still a grade, even if it was one that marked you as having not completed the course) Then there was all the rubbish about not having sports day in some schools, because it was ‘harmful’ to the little bastards if they lost a race.
Where I work we’re beginning to see the results of this generation’s inability to deal with failure. We’ve recently been interviewing people for jobs, and it’s really surprising how many of them just walk in expecting to get the job – no preparation, not dressing for the interview, no experience in the area, and still expecting to just walk in and get the job simply for being able to walk in through the door.
This vogue for not letting children fail is incredibly damaging – part of life is about dealing with failure, of how to handle not being perfect. I don’t know why or how it came about that failure was a bad thing – but I do hope that it’s a trend that gets reversed before too much longer.