Disorientation – a great danger for our children and young people.
This term has been on my mind repeatedly over the last few days. Disoriented in the conventional sense is an ambiguous term used in many different areas. To give my thoughts some structure, I am looking for a definition from psychology. There, disorientation is divided into four categories, namely.
- Spatial orientation (where am I).
- Temporal orientation (year, day, hour, etc.).
- Situational orientation (in which environment am I at the moment).
- Personal orientation (awareness of myself, who am I, what am I).
That should help me, because I actually need orientation to find my way around, which is why this concept is occupying me so much at the moment. Orientation therefore means the basis of all action, the basis for every step I take in my life. And now it is becoming increasingly clear to me why disorientation torments me so much. I fear that our world has become increasingly disoriented. By that I mean that the number of disoriented people has increased significantly. I feel that, and now I suddenly realise what is tormenting me so much.
How am I supposed to make sensible decisions, how am I supposed to behave sensibly, if I lack the basis for it? Should I look at the four levels individually and go through them step by step, as is done before therapy? No, I would like to spare myself that here. Instead, I would like to base my concerns on a realisation that worries me a lot. I experience, especially in children and young people, a lack of orientation, of support or guidance that enables them to find their way. I think it is made very difficult for them nowadays; not because there is the age of virtual reality through the various media. It is the responsibility of the adults who fail to provide guidance.
How can I tell? Well, you can’t say that the adults don’t know where they are, what they are doing at what time, in what capacity they are acting and who they are. In this respect they are quite oriented. And here lies the great contradiction, because in their responsibility towards children and young people, they still cannot give orientation. Whether adults were different in the past, I dare to doubt. The big difference was that there were social rules, rituals and customs that had to be followed. That was restrictive on one hand, but there was a clear guideline. With COVID, many things changed. The social classes dissolved, there were no more regular school lessons and class groups. I think we experienced a strong alienation from important social orientation institutions. This hit the children and young people particularly hard in their development in relation to their own person of their own consciousness. Stressed parents, who in turn were anything but supportive in their own chaotic disorientation, were unable to compensate for this loss. A vicious circle with no prospect of a solution.
The consequences of this unsolvable situation are probably exactly what worries me so much. I suspect that because of this disorientation, there will be an increase in psychosis among young people. Parents will look the other way, not really caring about their responsibilities and wanting to “fix everything”. Children will have behavioural problems and young people will be delinquent or suicidal because of it. The youth psychiatrists and psychiatrists will prescribe highly effective neuroleptics, because who wants to be responsible for suicides. Disorientation means suffering, but in this case it also means a cry for sincere attention. Children and adolescents cry out for it, but instead they get the wrong kind of attention. They want us adults to give them guidance and therefore question ourselves and not continue to abandon them as we have done in the past. Maybe they just want us to be there for them without demanding, expecting or even wanting anything from them. Is this so difficult to understand? Obviously yes, because we have to learn to find ourselves again – because we have given up on ourselves. What else has to happen for us to finally learn to grow? Repressing things and making them go away is not the solution!
The solution is to learn to love ourselves, to trust ourselves and to believe in ourselves. We must not use our children as a substitute for our inability. Should parents have a guilty conscience about it? No, they should finally take the time and bear it when their children need them. Driving them everywhere and picking them up, praising them for their readings is not enough. Just being there, listening and engaging with them would make more sense.