The Perverse Need For Authority?
Despite the fact I'm not old enough to be, a lot of my students, boys in particular, try to use me as a surrogate father figure.
Inevitably, such a young man fits a certain profile. Typically his parents are not amicably divorced. His father may or may not be a figure in his life, but even if he is, he is basically ignored by his male parent. He's a kid with problems, often substance abuse. He craves attention.
He wants deep down inside for someone to yell at him for getting a tattoo when he gets home. He wants someone to get angry when he gets an F. He wants discipline. He wants a father but he can't have one. So he collects father figures.
A coach. An assistant principal. A remedial math teacher. Any older male in a position to punish him and lavish him with discipline.
Inevitably such an individual adopts outrageous behaviors and claims bizarre beliefs in order to draw negative attention to himself. Now how you deal with this constructively is another thread altogether, but if you fail to deal with it then what you create is a non relationship.
I call it a non relationship because although a bond is forged it's a mutually destructive one. This kid will keep doing stupid stuff and getting in more and more trouble and in the process he will drive you insane if you let him.
Now of course there are variations. I had a girl last year exhibit this same syndrome, and of course I'm sure my colleagues in the math department become surrogate mothers in very similar non-relationships.
These of course are typically 15 and 16 year olds who, despite their maturity, still have a deep emotional need for a parent figure. Of course you can't ever be that for them no matter how much you wish you could sometimes. They may have parents in the sense that a guardian or guardians actually exist, but emotionally, they don't have parents.
But thinking on it now, I wonder if perhaps this syndrome hasn't created some of the current problems we face in government.
You see the maladjusted youth grows up to be a maladjusted and dissatisfied 26 year old, and he still wishes he had parents. He sees the government as a surrogate parent.
He wants the government to tell him what to do, where to go, what he can and can't have, and what he should think. He tries to wedge in ridiculous and repressive laws to fill this emotional hole in his being. He never had an authority figure as a child and he still doesn't have one now. He's trying to create one.
He tells himself the government does these things because the government knows what's good for him. Just like he wanted the teacher to yell at him in high school, he wants the government to force him to do things. He wants to pretend for just a few moments at a time that he has a father.
I know that sounds like a lot of Freudian armchair therapist pyschobabble, but considering the relatively large volume of children coming from divorced households where the divorce was not amicable, it's almost like we can see a pattern.
We know there's a lot of latchkey kids whose parents don't care.
Could this be the root of the problem? Is this the reason gun control and other left wing nonsense continues to exist? Have we really created a society where deteriorating families have spawned left wing supporters?
I pose this as a question as I've a keen interest in human nature. Perhaps I am painting in strokes which are too broad, but perhaps not.