The Childrens Society is warning of the dangers of the aggressive pursuit of personal success. On the publication of a report entitled A Good Childhood. Searching for values in a competitive age, Kathy Sylva, Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Oxford has said that parents and families must take more responsibility for the choices they make about how they live their lives as their decisions could have far-reaching implications for their childrens development.
The report says the belief among adults that the prime duty of the individual is to make the most of their own life, rather than contribute to the good of others is causing a range of problems in children and young people. These problems include family break-ups, teenage unkindness, commercial pressures towards premature sexualisation, unprincipled advertising, too much competition in education and acceptance of income inequality.
Professor Sylva said, The message as a panel that we really wanted to convey was not to say families are terrible. Families are not really consciously considering their choices.
One of these choices is childcare, which gets two pages in the 240-page report covering research in the UK and US about the benefits to children of group daycare and the importance of high-quality childcare for young childrens development when both parents work, whether formal in a day nursery or with a childminder, or informal with the childs grandparents. However, the report added, The development of a child depends much more on the quality of the relationship with the parents than on whether both parents work. Crucial are the warmth, understanding, interest and firmness which parents bring to the relationship with their child.
Do you think your children suffer because you work? Or do you believe that they have a better start in life than you had? Tell us what you think.
The Bad News: Nearly one in four children is obese or overweight when they start primary school and one in three is too fat by the time they leave, according to official figures.Lisa Cooney, head of education for the World Cancer Research Fund, said: These latest figures are a real cause for concern. This is because research has shown that the more overweight a child is, the more likely it is they will be overweight as an adult. This is important for cancer because scientists now say that, after not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight is the most important thing we can do for cancer prevention.
The Good News: A study carried out for the School Food Trust (SFT), set up by the government, found those eating school meals were more likely to eat vegetables and fruit and less likely to snack on chocolate or crisps. Chef takes a lot of care over preparing the nursery meals and planning the menus ahead. The children enjoy a varied diet which avoids fatty and sugary foods and they love it!
When talking about parents who send their school-age children to school with packed lunch, Judy Hargadon, chief executive of the SFT, said: ‘A lunch at school offers a child more opportunities to try different foods, more choice and is a lot less hassle,’ Anita Bean, a nutritionist and author of Healthy Eating For Kids said that parents should revert to methods of the past: The old-fashioned rule of just eating what was put in front of you seems to have waned. The children shouldn’t get into the habit of rejecting food, which gives them power and control. Don’t let them demand food.
So there you have it: Let the children eat lunch at nursery or school and dont give into them over their food and your children will learn to eat healthily.