In an interview in today's Western Mail Wales' Children's Commissioner Keith Towler calls for a reversal of the “general hardening of attitudes towards children”. He mentions a comment by a UN delegate during an international debate on the rights of the child.
“Representatives from the UK Government had just given evidence to the commission, and this delegate simply said: ‘Could you explain to me why people in the UK dislike children and young people so much?’"
I agree with Keith Towler: young people in the UK are demonised. Its clearly not a worldwide phenomenon.
The Editorial says
"It’s difficult to judge when this social change started happening, although it probably predates the rise of the Asbo a decade or so ago."
The focus of the interview is about parenting.
“It’s the basics we are talking about here – being there for your child, setting boundaries, being responsible, giving love and guidance.”..."Significant numbers of adults are now routinely emotionally absent from their children.”
Are parents getting mixed messages? Gordon Brown tells us that parents of kids aged one and older should be in work. How can we be there for our kids, emotionally or physically, when we're all in work full time? If you're a lone parent, who does all the cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing etc. while you devote all your non-working time to being there emotionally for your children? That's assuming of course, you've been able to get a childcare place and a job! I support the Children's Commissioner in his call for a national debate about what makes a good childhood. That debate has to include steps the government could take to make it easier for parents to spend time with their kids.