Just WHY are kids in the UK SO UNHAPPY ……….. AGAIN ?
Posted by: Sue Atkins
Four years ago I read the UNICEF report on why children in the UK were so unhappy, so un-cherished and so un -nurtured. I was so incensed by the Report the last time, that I stayed up until 2.30 am to record a video called “A Nation Of Bad Parents” trying to be part of the solution to this very serious problem.
Tonight on BBC News I see nothing has changed…… another UNICEF Report – another sad indictment of life as a child in the UK – and yet parenting workshops, parenting talks, parenting classes are all still taboo, stigmatised and frowned upon as akin to therapy, counselling or implying you are broken or troubled if you want to be the best you can be.
This is like a four year cycle of failure – yet this is far more serious than England failing to win the World Cup.
On Thursday I am giving a talk at a Charity Event in Croydon to help to re – build the businesses destroyed by the riots a month ago, as my parents and I lived in Croydon for 20 years and we shopped in Reeves Corner – one of the shops needlessly burnt down during the riots. But surely it’s time for the Government to take up the mantle of making parenting workshops less taboo and as natural as going to Ante Natal Classes…… free from finger pointing and blame and to lead this campaign for change – because it’s not about poverty, or single parenting …… it’s about about the MINDSET of making our children our priority, and making it OK to explore our parenting techniques …… because children really don’t come with a handbook !
Children spell love T-I-M-E and they don’t really need huge amounts of material things – they need our attention. our presence – not our presents and they need to feel that they are the most important people in your world.
We are CLEARLY not getting this right in the UK AGAIN ……so who is going to lead the campaign to CHANGE it?
It doesn’t look like the government, who are frightened of appearing like a Nanny State ……. but our track record isn’t too hot so maybe we need someone to come off the fence, be a little passionate and change things …….
I caught the train to Downing Street a few days after the riots, to deliver a huge box of my Parenting Made Easy resources – my CDs, my workbooks, my journals, my free reources, my Easy Button idea to build self esteem quickly and easily, to give David Cameron a simple and practical way to help parents be the best they can be. I also wrote a letter to suggest that I could run, throughout the UK, my Parenting Made Easy 5 a Day Challenge Workshops and supervise others delivering my material into communities who need my support, my expertise and my passion for parenting ……. and I got back a standard photocopied letter just thanking me for my concern……
So the cycle will continue until we work together on making children’s well being central to our society.
This has inspired me to write a simple Parenting Made Easy Online Course – delivered in one week – every night at 8pm for an hour on the key 5 recommendations from the Centre Forum.
My mission is to de – mystify parenting, to simplify it, to make children’s emotional well -being CENTRAL to family life. To teach parents the tools , the techniques and strategies to make life with children rewarding, joyful, fun and enriching – free from finger pointing, judgement and criticism.
HERE IS THE 5 A DAY PARENTING CHECKLIST SUGGESTED BY THE INDEPENDENT THINK TANK CENTRE FORUM
1. Read to your child for 15 minutes
Children’s brains learn language much more easily in the early years and exposure to as many different words as possible builds vocabulary.
2. Play with your child on the floor for 10 minutes
Infants typically “reach out” for interaction through babbling and gestures. Parents should encourage this by playing at their physical level – on the floor.
3. Talk with your child for 20 minutes with the television off
Children from the poorest backgrounds typically hear far fewer words spoken each day than those in wealthier homes. By switching off the TV and talking, parents can improve children’s verbal and literacy skills and prepare them for school.
4. Adopt positive attitudes towards your child and praise them frequently
There is “significant evidence” that more “positive parenting” can help reduce children’s “toxic stress levels” and strengthen parent-child bonds but children in the poorest homes are far less likely to be praised.
5. Give your child a nutritious diet to aid development
This is where the “five a day” campaign for parenting meets the fruit and vegetable eating drive. A good diet helps the brain develop, while breast feeding babies is widely seen as positive
LOOK OUT FOR MY 5 A DAY PARENTING CHALLENGE WORKSHOP COMING SOON ……….
AND DO ME A FAVOUR……………..TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS !
Join us at the:
BRICK BY BRICK – REBUILDING CROYDON BUSINESSES TOGETHER
Thursday 15th September
6PM – 8.30PM
PURLEY WAY, CROYDON