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Is this really the best answer to poor language development at 4 yrs old?

(62 Posts)
PECS Sun 03-Feb-19 09:26:02

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2019/01/29/clarks-shoe-shop-staff-trained-speak-children-amid-government/

Iam64 Sun 03-Feb-19 09:37:18

The link didn't work for me PECS but I read something about this yesterday.
I feel it's another of those things that make me feel we're all doomed if this is the best we can do.
Of course shop staff talk to children, especially if they're measuring their feet. That's what happened when my grannie took me to Clarks 68 years ago to have my feet measured for shoes, Romping Robins I think they were called.
I recently took our two toddlers to Clarks, following on the family tradition of grannie buying the shoes, getting them properly fitted and so on. The young woman who served us was lovely with the children, chatted to them and was patient when they wriggled about. That's how it should be, not part of some cheapskate government initiative.

JackyB Sun 03-Feb-19 09:40:28

The link didn't work but I copied and pasted it. That article is riddled with mistakes! Don't they know the difference between "bought" and "brought"?

I'll take me pedant's hat off now.

I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing. It may be more important to learn to simply understand a bit more child psychology generally rather than just be taught how to speak to toddlers.

PECS Sun 03-Feb-19 09:44:07

"Training will take place over the summer so that Clarks staff are able to talk to children who are bought to the shop by their parents to buy school shoes ahead of the new academic year." This is because Damian Hinds says it is a " persistent scandal" yhat parents have not taught their pre schoolers to talk in sentences. I am really angry. 5 local Children Centres are to clise due to Government funding cuts.

Urmstongran Sun 03-Feb-19 09:55:10

Better than nothing but it’s wrong that it’s necessary and so sad. What are we becoming as a nation? Apparently for reading and maths our children are around the 27th on a league table of the world. Shocking.

Anniebach Sun 03-Feb-19 09:58:56

Why is there a need for centres for children to learn to speak ? Isn’t this what mothers have always done ?

Fennel Sun 03-Feb-19 10:00:00

I agree. And with most children you don't need to 'teach' them to talk in sentences. You just keep engaging them in conversation and they pick it up naturally.
Maybe some parents can't speak in sentences either?
I blame phones, screens etc.

annsixty Sun 03-Feb-19 10:00:45

One thing that stands out here for me is that parents who are fortunate enough to be able to pay £30/40 for a pair of shoes don't know how to speak to their children and encourage conversation.
I just don't believe it.

Izabella Sun 03-Feb-19 10:00:48

And how many struggling parents with poor skills themselves will buy shoes from Clarkes?

Fennel Sun 03-Feb-19 10:00:57

ps my post was in reply to PECS.

PECS Sun 03-Feb-19 10:01:08

My opinion on that 'ranking' urmstongran is because
a)we dropped the experts and had a civil servant and a politician design a curriculum and approaches to teaching
b) we don' bother to look at the wider context to see why kids do not embrace education we just bame schools.

How is a 3 minute chat with a shop assistant, a few weeks before going to school, going to help anything! It is a complete load of bollocks!

annsixty Sun 03-Feb-19 10:04:22

After all the previous posts we have had On here about shoes ,dare I suggest training the staff at the likes of Shoezone?

PECS Sun 03-Feb-19 10:05:08

annie yes of course most parents do! But you know that some vulnerable parents do not have the wherewithall..for a 100 different reasons.. to raise their kids ideally. The centres provided safe places to go where support and advice was available from both professionals and other young parents.

Anniebach Sun 03-Feb-19 10:11:54

Just what has happened in families, mothers can’t cook basic meals, 4 year olds can’t speak a sentence, no government can be blamed for this . Why has poor parenting increased ?

toscalily Sun 03-Feb-19 10:30:12

Anniebach, I will add to that re poor parenting, unable to use cutlery and arriving at school still not toilet trained. In children so young surely it is bad parenting, it is not the responsibility of the government or schools to teach children (toddlers) the basics and certainly not a shoe shop.

PECS Sun 03-Feb-19 10:42:13

It is absolutely the responsibilty of a government to invest in the infrastructures that support citizens to live and work healthily in decent homes. To create a climate of positivity and success is a government job!
Countries where there is a good standard of living and with less poverty have better educational standards. It is not rocket science.

Anniebach Sun 03-Feb-19 10:43:00

Yes toscality. and the blame is laid on the government in power, never the parents and their parents.

Have we become too dependent on the state ? Why has young mothers poor parent skills, because their parents had poor parenting skills , when and why did this start.

Anniebach Sun 03-Feb-19 10:54:08

PECS, there has always been poverty , are you laying the blame on the thatcher government , the Blair Government , the present government, all the parents of 4 year olds were not brought up in the last 11 years . So easy to pass blame to governments .

Fathers walk away from their responsibilities, the mothers claim benefits , were these fathers not brought up to accept responsibility?

MargaretX Sun 03-Feb-19 11:02:49

I grew up in an area where there were plenty of 'bad' mothers only a few miles away. Their children went to school with me and then failed the 11 +.

Those mothers were known to be careless and the fathers abusive and nothing was done then. Things have changed but somehow there is now a generation of mothers who would rather talk on their phones than with their new born babies and it does not get better as the children grow older.
Its hard to see what a government can do in this situation.

Somehow the schools must do it. MY son inlaw ia a teacher and he introduced debating to get the older students in srate of mind to listen to 15 minutes and then to debate the for and against aspects.

MaizieD Sun 03-Feb-19 11:21:01

It might sound a bit daft and a drop in the ocean, but what's not to like about the idea? It won't do any harm and, although it might not do much for children's communication skills it might just emphasise, for any trainees who may become parents in the future, the importance of talking to your child.

I think we'd do well to remember that the parents of today are our children of yesterday. So before we start condemning them it might be as well to reflect that it could be the culture, which we created, which they experienced while growing up that has produced the parents we're so disapproving of.

As for our position on international tables for reading, that's a whole different can of worms which I've been involved in for a long time and won't go into here. But it is important to point out that we get a huge amount of our vocabulary from the written word (proven by research which I can find if you wish to contest this) and that, as the ability to communicate well is highly dependent on one's vocabulary, if children aren't reading (either because they can't read or because of screen time) then they aren't extending their vocabularies.

M0nica Sun 03-Feb-19 11:32:58

I think any communication with children at any point is a good thing. My only thought is that the kind of parents who buy fitted shoes from Clarkes are not likely to have children who are not spoken to.

My MiL was an infant teacher and she used to talk of children starting school who had been talked at, over and through but never talked to - and the problems that caused.

Perhaps if everybody talked to small children when they met the., If I am chatting to a mother, in the supermarket queue, for example. I will usually talk to the child as well (they are usually the ones that lead to the conversation starting)

PECS Sun 03-Feb-19 11:36:47

Look at the bloody statistics.. rise in children living in poverty =lower educational standards.
Except for example in Cuba where because the government invested in education the literacy levels are higher than USA.
Of course there has always been poverty and there have also always been poor educational standards ..there is a clear correlation. Of course some youngsters from less affluent homes have the broken the mould and succeed educationally, Have you read Alan Johnsons autobiography?
The bigger the gap between the wealthy and the poor in a country also has a significant impact
Society has changed and is changing fast and the expectations in 2019 are way, way different to 1940s/50s.
Like comparing apples and a plug!
Let's stop saying what it used to be like and start looking at real ways to make improvements today...now! It is not by getting a shoe shop to chat to a kid when they buy their £50 plus shoes!

Jalima1108 Sun 03-Feb-19 11:51:15

Why has young mothers poor parent skills, because their parents had poor parenting skills , when and why did this start.
Possibly with the advent of mobile phones Anniebach - some mothers are more intent on their phones than on talking to their children.

I think any communication with children at any point is a good thing. My only thought is that the kind of parents who buy fitted shoes from Clarkes are not likely to have children who are not spoken to.
I was about to post the same M0nica

Anniebach Sun 03-Feb-19 11:52:47

So when did it start PECS ? Do we not learn from the past?
Parenting is failing and it cannot be blamed on the last 11 years , parents of 4 year olds were not born in the last 11 years . Using this government to blame for lack of parenting skills does not make sense . I am not defending this government but we cannot lay the blame on it for bad parenting of the grandparents of 4 year olds can we ?

Luckygirl Sun 03-Feb-19 11:54:56

Where is the "head in hands icon" ? - I need it right now!!!