Telling off the grown ups

Too often adults seem powerless in the face of young people behaving badly. During the 2011 summer riots in the UK, well-equipped police officers looked on impotently. Teachers now complain they no longer have official support to deal with misbehaviour and adults avoid reprimanding misbehaving kids for fear of being accused of abuse. Whether it is smoking, recycling or healthy eating, adults often find themselves under a barrage of criticism, and it is our children who are telling us off. ‘Mum, don’t you know fatty foods are bad for me.’ Do we need to reassert the idea that children should respect their elders and children and young adults do not have the same capacity as adults? This fascinating debate filmed at the Battle of Ideas festival reveals all.