Are your children time starved and toy rich? 20



 

The true measure of a nation’s standing ishow well it attends to its children – theirhealth and safety, their material security,their education and socialization, andtheir sense of being loved, valued, andincluded in the families and societies into which they are born.

I am sure by now most people will be aware of the BBC article and the UNICEF report which states that British children are at the bottom of a table showing well being in rich counties.  Sadly this didn’t surprise me, but it does make for interesting, albeit sad reading.

I fear that it is a damning reflection on a lot of what I feel is wrong with society today and makes me realise that I am doing my best by trying to be there for my children.  To spend quality time with them and ensure that we have family games nights and that weekends are spent making memoires, rather than shopping, which seems to be a common occurrence.

I am not implying that we live an Enid Blyton lifestyle as that isn’t true and I can be as materialistic as the next person, but it isn’t a pretty trait.  What saddens me is I also see it in my children.  Toys have become a weekly thing for some children at their school and where as we try and make them for high days and holidays, the boys see all the adverts of TV  and want, want, want.  Which brings me to the point of advertising aimed at children, which I find horrifying.  When the boys were smaller I restricted their viewing to Cbeebies and Playhouse Disney (now Disney Junior) as both channels were advert free, but as they have got older, they change the channels themselves and what to watch specific programs and they like to watch the adverts, which are just a constant bombardment of toys.

But for me the biggest issue is that fact that it is hard in the UK to run a family on just one income.  This means that a lot of parents are forced to both work, which means someone else looking after their children.  Often children do not get to spend much time with their parents, let along quality time and people over compensate by giving their children toys and gadgets.    I never had my children to leave them with other people and I find it so disheartening that we are struggling to make this possible without me working.  The fact is that part time work is hard if not impossible to come by.  The thought of leaving my children in childcare whilst I went out to work is not only financial incompatible, but also leaves me in a cold sweat.  I love the fact that I can take them to the park after school, that we have dinner together every day as a family and that MadDad can have an hour with the boys before bed.  I make sure that I do all the housework, shopping and other stuff during the week, so that our weekends are sacred family time and I appreciate just how lucky I am to be able to do this and believe that this is something that other families should have the opporunity to do.

PS I have tried really hard not to be a Miss Judgeypants.  These are my opinions and I welcome other peoples opinions.