Gransnet forums

Other subjects

Is this the best they can do?

(9 Posts)
MiceElf Thu 20-Jun-13 10:59:51

www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/20/be-true-to-yourself-best-guides-can-do

We always preferred the Woodcraft Folk, it's linked to the Co- Op.

Lilygran Thu 20-Jun-13 11:15:03

I'm surprised they haven't managed to work in something about being worth it!

Bags Thu 20-Jun-13 12:42:20

I keep wondering what isn't adequate about "I promise to do my best to be kind and helpful." Seems to me that would be appropriate for children of all ages and adults.

Eloethan Thu 20-Jun-13 13:46:51

Why should the reference to Queen remain while references to God and country have been omitted? Bags' suggestion about being kind and helpful is, I feel, much more acceptable.

Zoe Williams' point about vague, aspirational statements (in the case of the oath - "being true to oneself"), is, I think, very interesting. There's no point young people being encouraged to have all sorts of lofty ambitions when, in reality, many of them will have next to no chance of achieving them. It's just kidding people that there is equality of opportunity when there is so obviously not.

FlicketyB Thu 20-Jun-13 21:59:45

Why are parents and women themselves always blamed because they do not aim to be CEOs and high achievers? It seems to me that up to now equality in the workplace has been all about making it possible for women to match the work patterns men developed when all domestic responsibilities were left to women who stayed at home. It has meant that women have to be childless or be prepared to leave the upbringing of their children to paid carers if they want career success. But many women are quite rightly uneasy about farming out their children from birth just so they can be high achievers in their careers.

We need to stop thinking about career development and career success on outdated male terms and challenge work patterns that undermine family life. Businesses need this generation of children to provide them with their next generation of customers. Companies - and government need to think in terms of reformulating the way they see their own and their employees career progression. They need to find ways for it to be not just accepted but expected that staff of both sexes will work flexible or shorter hours when they have young children and that the ability to successfully manage their lives and their work during this part of their lives can contribute to their career development.

Eloethan Fri 21-Jun-13 00:00:38

FlicketyB Absolutely agree re shorter hours/flexible working.

Greatnan Fri 21-Jun-13 05:09:41

I think it is time employers accepted that employees of both sexes may be parents and that work practices must recognise this. Job sharing, flexi-time, working from home.......I am ambivalent about workplace crèches as the setting may not always be suitable for young children and if the parent changes jobs the children's routine would be upset.
I had two secretaries who each worked half a day - they were friends and the one that wasn't working looked after both toddlers. It worked very well for all of us.
I wonder why more parents don't get together to share child care, either in this way or by employing a carer.

Lilygran Fri 21-Jun-13 09:16:18

I agree with Bags. Children can understand 'doing your best' and it's the basis of the promise anyway.

FlicketyB Fri 21-Jun-13 09:21:18

I think it is more than shorter hours/flexible working and job sharing. Those measures merely help women keep working in our current work structure and are the work patterns that impede women's career progress in this same culture.

We need a work culture that sees its all its employees, including senior managers holistically and sees that at different times of their lives the balance between work and home will vary and that this should be accommodated in career development.

We work to live, not live to work and there is much research to show that people who are driven to work long hours, including managers, work far less efficiently than those who work 8 hours a day and that sleep deprivation leads to bad decision making, an interesting side light on the recent problems in the banking world.