24/09/2011

Erosion of Childhood

The Daily Telegraph today has: "The erosion of childhood."

This is the story that a team of experts say that our children are growing up to quickly these days.

You hear that phrase a lot, "growing up to quickly". I assume they're growing up at about 1 year per year, aren't they? Even if you take into account Einstein's Theory of Relativity and some of those children are travelling faster than others, it's still roughly 1 year per year.

If kids were actually growing up faster that 1 year per year you'd have to buy then birthday presents more often, so thank god they're not.

More than 200 experts wrote on open letter about how childhood is being eroded by a "relentless diet" of advertising.

An open letter they sent to a newspaper... that makes money out of its advertising. That's like putting up a poster about childhood obesity in Gregs.

In the letter they say: 'Our children are suffering from a relentless diet of "too much, too soon".'

Yep, you could put that up in Gregs too.

Britain has the lowest levels of children's well-being in the developed world, and Britain coming out near the top of international league tables on almost all indicators of teenage distress and disaffection.

But surely they're missing the point. We don't have the lowest childhood well-being because our kids our suffering, we have it because we're British, and if you give us the chance to moan about something, we're going to take it.

If someone comes up to you in the street with a clipboard and asks you about your well-bring, the Brit training kicks in and you'll be moaning about the weather, your back, the small 5p piece and that bloody Simon Cowell before they've even got their pen ready.

Why would our children be any different? They have grown up hearing the moans that we use to communicate in our society, and they'll repeat it.

Also in the letter it says of our children: 'They spend ever more time indoors with screen-based technology, rather than in outdoor activity.'

Having said that, just this week we heard of some 8-year-olds who were cage fighting. That's certainly less sedentary than just sitting and playing on the Xbox. But something tells me the kids who get knocked about in a cage won't score highly on the well-being scale either.

So I say we stop worrying about our kids staying in too much, we stop worrying about what they say in surveys and we just rejoice in the fact that we're breeding another generation of skilled moaners, just like us. And that's good, because if we didn't have lots of moaners in the UK, who's buy the Daily Telegraph?

>Read the source story
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