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Share with young parents; they should read this article!

(24 Posts)
FunOma Sun 29-Sep-19 19:32:48

"I encourage every parent who cares about the future of his/her children to read it. I know that many would choose not to hear what she says in the article, but your children need you to hear this message...I have seen and continue to see a decline in children’s social, emotional, and academic functioning, as well as a sharp increase in learning disabilities and other diagnoses."

LondonGranny Sun 29-Sep-19 19:37:43

The sharp increase in learning disabilities is because more babies survive that wouldn't have even ten years ago. That's not about parenting, it's about medical advances.

LondonGranny Sun 29-Sep-19 19:40:25

Also until the 1981 education act came into force in 1983 they would have been in special schools. The vast majority of special schools no longer exist.

LondonGranny Sun 29-Sep-19 19:41:20

...and children now are being taught how to pass tests, not how to learn.

notanan2 Sun 29-Sep-19 19:47:40

A lot of adults are getting diagnosed with learning disabilities they've always had, but were missed in childhood.

The fact that more are diagnosed earlier now is a good thing.

And of course teachers "see" more of it, for goodness sake my childrens primary school was bigger than the SECONDARY I went to! So they do see "more".... of everything! There are more kids in their care!!

notanan2 Sun 29-Sep-19 19:51:13

P.s. the more up to date evidence is that many prominent learning disabilities are congenital/genetic so...

LondonGranny Sun 29-Sep-19 19:54:30

Well, a lot of very premature babies have learning disabilities. Not always very severe but enough that they need extra nurturing in the early years at school.

Hithere Sun 29-Sep-19 20:02:36

This article is a generalization about "young parents" and an insult about younger generations.

This society cannot be compared at all to 20, 30, 40 years ago.
Play outside? No way it is as safe in this society as it was decades ago.

Technology is part of our world now and kids of course interact with it.
Technology could be used as free babysitting, same as watching tv, reading books, sending your kids to play outside for hours without supervision- things done decades ago.

Kids now are under such a strong pressure to perform beyond their age.
It is not only school, it is also languages, sports, etc.

A child is a person. God forbid a child has input in decisions that affect him/her directly- within reason- what they would like for dinner, their education, etc.
Long gone are the days of "seen but not heard" kids that annoyed parents just by wanting to be active participant in the family, not just puppets.

Kids now have the pressure to excel at everything to be able to access the best schools, get scholarships, build good resumes for the future work career, etc.

Plenty of conditions were not recognized or ignored when I went to school.
It got hidden as " your child is lazy, he can get an A buy he is just happy with a B"

If these "young parents" are so bad at parenting, what's do they all have in common?
They were raised by previous generations- so shouldn't those "older parents" share part of the responsibility in this situation?

notanan2 Sun 29-Sep-19 20:12:18

What are "young parents" anyway?

Its not like the old days when everyone had kids at roughly the same (young) age.

New parents nowadays can be teens, or in their 20s 30s 40s or even 50s!

And I can assure you from my childrens' friendship groups, it is NOT the "young" patents who are most lax with tech or the most permissive! Some of the strictest other parents I have come across have been the young'uns, and some of the worst culprets for using "digital babysitters" have been some of the "old" ones. And I say that as a member of the latter group (although think myself quite strict)

LondonGranny Sun 29-Sep-19 20:15:27

Oh and I forgot to mention this...also thought to be responsible for more premature births.

Eloethan Sun 29-Sep-19 20:22:16

I do agree with some of the points in the article. In particular, I do believe that children should sometimes be allowed to be bored. In my view, it's boredom that often feeds the imagination, fosters creativity and develops self-sufficiency and motivation.

I also think that too much use of mobile phones and computers has a detrimental effect on the ability to focus on one thing for any length of time, and on developing face-to-face social skills.

Having said that, I also think our education system is too prescriptive and shuts down motivation and creativity. (I do not blame the teachers for that - their hands are tied).

I think it was a good idea for mainstream schools to include children with special needs, since they are part of society and should not be segregated within it - and children should learn to welcome and adapt to differences in their peers. However, it is has been done on the cheap - with teachers given nowhere near enough extra support.

I think, despite admirable intentions, the lack of necessary resources has disadvantaged special needs students. In my later working life I retrained as an adult literacy teacher and on occasions took a class of adults with learning difficulties. I found that all of the (mature) students, (who were of the age when special schools were the norm), were surprisingly competent in reading, writing, spelling and comprehension.

Several years ago, when I went with my daughter to look at the choices of secondary schools for her son, I was dismayed when a history teacher told me he did not really expect a special needs student to participate in the lesson, but the boy was useful for distributing handouts.

I think where the article falls down is in its sweeping generalisations. I really don't think all kids "get everything they want, when they want it". Some children get very little of what they want, particularly if their caregivers are struggling with financial,housing or health issues - or their parents are emotionally distant.

Finally, I agree with the writer regarding parents' "emotional availability". I think it is probably the most important component of parenting, and one which I, unwittingly, fell down on.

notanan2 Sun 29-Sep-19 20:23:39

I know an epileptic who got punished in school for "staring into space". A left hander who got forced to write right handed which caused them to struggle in school. An almost blind girl who was just told she was stupid, nobody noticed she just couldnt see in school!, A later diagnosed dyslexic who was told they were thick, who in later life got diagnosed and did an OU degree. A girl with relatively mild downs syndrome who became unable to live independantly because of the damage done by early institutionalisation.

It was no utopia of less learning disabilities back then!

notanan2 Sun 29-Sep-19 20:32:40

There were also spoilt kids, mollycoddled kids, helicopter parents (the phrase didnt exist, but the parents did!)

I knew kids who had every mod con! Every new toy as they were released. Parents who expected their child to be chosen for everything, the full spectrum existed then as now!

I dont understand how people forget that and look back with such rose tints?

One boy in my school had every single new toy that was released! I dont know how his parents werent rich, but they never said "no" to him (and he was a little pain that boy!)

A girl in my school was chosen for everything because her parents were breathing down the teachers necks to make sure of it!

Surely you can all remember similar characters from your own class?

Davidhs Sun 29-Sep-19 20:58:31

I agree entirely with the article and would emphasize a great many children never learn that boring work is needed, they crave new experiences, exciting and fun work. Many leave school totally unprepared for starting at the bottom of the work ladder.
My wife was tough with our children, now they have kids of their own they are probably even tougher, lots of love together with firm boundaries. There is a current vogue of asking children “ what would you like for supper tonight darling”, that’s asking for children to manipulate you and make a fuss.

Eloethan Sun 29-Sep-19 20:59:18

I can't remember any children in my class - at junior or secondary school - who was so advantaged. The classmate that I remember as being the most fortunate was not obviously advantaged but did seem so because she had singing and ballet lessons.

I agree that many things were not good for children in the "old days" - eg children getting the cane or the slipper. I can honestly say, though, that I don't recall ever having been seriously bullied or seriously scared of teachers. I didn't have an awful lots of material things but I was fairly contented and not especially worried about anything (except the embarrassment of school showers and periods), and I think most of my friends were the same.

LondonGranny Sun 29-Sep-19 21:09:25

When my youngest daughter was about to start secondary school & I was looking round possible ones a teacher said it was marvellous that there was a child with cerebral palsy in the school as it taught the other children compassion. When I asked whether it was so the child with CP got an equal chance at getting qualifications and education she put her head to one side with a patronising little smaile that said 'poor deluded parent, that's not why he's here' that school got crossed off my list.

LondonGranny Sun 29-Sep-19 21:12:05

although she did have the sort of voice that was "Ail haive ai draiy whaite waine"

notanan2 Sun 29-Sep-19 21:12:06

There may not have been ipads etc but there were gizmos and gadgets and the latest in thing! So somebody must have been buying them!
And there were spoilt kids!

Davidhs Sun 29-Sep-19 21:31:23

LondonGranny. That reminds me we had a boy with CP (spastic then) in my school year. I can’t remember his school achievements but I do recall he had several friends who “took care” of him. There was no suggestion of choosing a school in those days you went to the nearest.

Hetty58 Sun 29-Sep-19 21:49:36

It sounds as if 'turning back time' by fifty-odd years is seen as the answer!

I do agree with many points e.g. delayed gratification, boredom, more socialising etc. but, although screen time should be limited, technology is just a tool. It can be used for good or evil.

As a retired teacher, I'd say that schools are really letting our children down by focusing on tests and inspections instead of appropriate and meaningful teaching and learning!

LondonGranny Sun 29-Sep-19 21:52:41

Well, in London you put down three schools and if you're lucky they get offered a place in one of them. No guarantee though. My two youngest didn't, I was allocated a school for them which was the one with the worst reputation.

M0nica Sun 29-Sep-19 22:17:42

More children are diagnosed with learning difficulties because many were not recognised in the past. I was in my 40s before my dyspraxia was diagnosed. Throughout my school days I struggled with messy illegible writing and my work was constantly marked down because of my writing

Now of course hand writing is not a problem. I just take to a keyboard.

Namsnanny Mon 30-Sep-19 01:15:53

notanan...what school did you go to, sounds a bit like mine?!!

M0nica Mon 30-Sep-19 08:32:28

I went to 10 schools and I cannot remember ever really noticing what other children had - or did not have. We did not take toys to school and while in secondary school there were desirable items that were all the rage, I remember hula hoops, big petticoats, shoes with a heel, a bra!, but while some people would have them, the majority didn't. looking back I can see that one or two children in my class probably did come from impoverished homes, had free school meals, and help with uniforms, but it was never commented on at the time.

Teachers had favourites and there was one father, a builder, who did do a lot for the school and the head teacher made a big thing of him and her, to his daughter's deep mortification.

In my class we had a deaf girl and one with mild epilepsy. They both were part of a group of friends anddidOlevels and A levels like the rest of us. One class did have a girl with learning disabilities who was accepted by all and, not to my knowledge, teased or bullied.

But I cannot say I bothered about it much, nor did other people. Life is not fair and the sooner we learn that and how to cope with it, the better.