Saturday, March 22, 2008

Give 'em a good slap

Not the kids, the parents.

This is obviously a self serving story put out by the TUC to support their claims for more of whatever it is they want - money, time off, teachers; but it is still a sad reflection on the way we live.

Research for the National Union of Teachers (NUT) suggested a minority of children threw tantrums, swore and were physically aggressive.

No mention of how big the minority is, but we'll let it pass as I have other things to do. Anyway, we are treated to some fine examples, possibly the only ones in the report, but good for their cause:
It described a mother who celebrated the fact she had been able to get her five-year-old to bed at 1am instead of his previous bedtime of 3am.


It also told of a seven-year-old who smashed up his Playstation in a tantrum, then spent a week pestering his mother until she bought him a new one.

The researchers said some parents simply could not say "no" when their children demanded televisions and computers in their bedrooms.

Yes children do that, they push things to the limit, but it really isn't the child's fault, they are programmed to get away with what they can.*
Then we have the blindingly obvious quote to pad out the story:
"Others would do "anything to shut up their children just to get some peace", it said."
Of course we all know who to blame really, don't we. yes, it those horrible free marketeers:
Mr Sinnott said the problem lay with parents who were struggling with little or no help to bring up their children in a heavily commercialised world.

He wants a ban on advertising aimed at children.

"Parents are trying to cope by indulging, or by over-indulging, their youngsters," he said.

Ahaa, that's what this is about, more bansturbation. No thought to the parents who aren't struggling and have no objections, no, just ban it. Lets not forget that they did claim that it was only a minority of parents who were struggling, so they are talkking about baning the majorouty from going about their lawful business.

I'm getting bored now so I'll finish with the reason for the post title:
NUT boss Steve Sinnott is calling for more advice for parents who struggle to say "no" to their children.

No, Steve, they don't need "help", and by that I assume you mean more civil servants and higher taxes, they just need a good slap and to be told not to be so soft.

*The Economist carried an interesting article a couple of weeks ago which showed that babies will cry more if they think that the adult nearby will feed them more. They cry less if the adult refuses.
For a long time such signals have been considered honest—at least by childless zoologists. The more noise an infant makes, the hungrier it is. However, Matthew Bell, a zoologist at Cambridge University, now suspects that a degree of dishonesty and manipulation may be involved.
There is, he says, a conflict of interest between parents and offspring, with offspring frequently wanting more resources than the parents would readily provide. But because the parents do not know for sure how hungry their child is, they are liable to manipulation.


He thinks the findings are more broadly applicable. In human infants, there is the same kind of “information battle”, in which parents try to understand the cues that accurately convey information about what their offspring needs, versus what they can get away with. Parents of over-fussy babies, or tantrum-prone children, will not be pleased to discover it is their very attentiveness that is making matters worse. It is painful to acknowledge, but marketers were right all along: pester power works

Another example of research confirming what we know.

1 comment:

Mark Wadsworth said...

Totally agreed. We've had commercial telly for like decades. As long as schools can expel unruly pupils, it will all sort itself out. I don't care too much about the bad kids, I care about the vast majority who behave reasonably well and are prepared to learn something.