Barking Dogs

and other things that have a marked effect on my life but which I have no management over. After years of battling neighbours dogs that bark almost incessently day and night, I am off to get ear plugs. I have always been concerned of not being able to hear in the night as the children were growing up, but now I am taking the plunge with the plug. This morning, believing I had at least half and hour sleep in, the neighbours dog (one of those small screeching variety) woke me with prolonged barking at the early morning walkers in our suburb. ‘The Magazine’ in last ‘Weekend Australian‘ (Jan 24-25 2009) had an article on neighbourhood noise and the health effects. Maybe I’ll join the group, ‘Noise Watch Australia’ mentioned in the article. As the world population gets bigger and cities and towns get denser, we will have to become more disciplined in the noise we contribute. Noisy neighbourhoods, especially that prohibit a good night’s sleep, will have increasingly stressed residents with the consequent decline in amicable relationships in that neighbourhood. It is not only the noise that causes the stress but the inability to be able to participate in the management of that noise, adequately.

There are a number of things that effect individuals or families, of which they are unable to participate in the management. I realised recently that one of these are parents who are non-communicators. Parents, due to the bonding they create with their children, have their children on the short leash for the rest of their lives. The sitcom, ‘Raymond’, showed a certain style of this where interference and manipulative behaviours are routine. But there are other forms of problematic communication, including the one that is based around an idea that adult children do their own thing, and parents do their own thing, and the parents don’t have to communicate about those things with the children or even each other. The problem with this notion is it is a relationship killer. It can works at a trade level, between people who don’t have more than a buying-selling bond. The parents who don’t communicate adequately with their children about their life and their children’s lives, hold the leash of the parental-child bond, without allowing the child to be a full participator in that bond. The parent has no intention of letting go that leash, of properly severing the bond, but believe they can have both a relationship with their children and inadequate communication. While the selfishness is apparent, the notion is delusional. Parents either continue to build the relationship with their children over the course of thei life, at least until mental incompetence, or they effect the death of that relationship. The parents who build the relationship over life, also find themselves fully involved in building the relationships of the extended family as children marry, as grandchildren are born and growing, and as those grandchildren marry. Holding back from that involvement is to tell the children they are no longer bonded, no longer within that family relationship.

I suspect a lot of that has happened in our late 20th century western lives. I suspect it is an underlying feature of the mental health problems and the violence, that is increasing around an affluent nation such as Australia. Young adults, all parents of any age, take heed. The life or death of society is in the hands of parents.


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