Monday, 20 February 2012

Incapability to form a sentence and a Blackberry phone at eight- what has happened to British children?

When I was five years old I was a happy little school child.  A year on, I was a slightly taller, happy little child who enjoyed progressing with her reading and writing.  At seven years old, I had an assortment of barbie dolls.  They would accompany me in the basket of my barbie bike whilst I would cycle around, regularly falling off and obtaining bruises in all the colours of the rainbow.  Looking back, it was clear I was a child capable of many things....... and wearing a nappy and being changed by a teacher is something that I can happily say I never had to go through like the children of today.

Yes, you heard me correctly.  In many primary schools across the country, children as young as five years old are still wearing nappies and need to have these nappies regularly changed by the teacher, children I hasten to mention, without a medical condition.  There is no denying that children are going to have 'a little accident' every now and then, but it is astounding to think that teachers are forced to constantly interrupt their lesson to clean up after the youngsters that they are supposed to be teaching.  After doing my research through a variety of sources, I have been led to believe that children today lack the fundamental life skills that they should learn within a few years of their lives- some incapable of forming proper sentences- and therefore, we as a nation need to do something about it.

Technology is a rapidly moving part of our lives and of course, will further progress in the following years- that's unquestionable.  However, it pained me yesterday to hear of a six year old with four blackberry phones (I don't want to state the name of the programme, but it rhymes with The Lonely State their Ethics).  Four blackberry's for an six year old?! Has she got such a hectic social life that she needs four blackberry's? Has she got that many friends that they can't even fit on a single blackberry contact list? Or is she aspiring to have a different blackberry for every day of the week? I don't know.  What I do know is that this is a key example of how children are changing.  No longer does a brand new bike or toy make a child the envy of all their peers; instead it is the latest item of technology they have seen on the television that makes their eyes light up and their smile beam with happiness.

Cosmetic surgery is in reality, a solution to women that are insecure with themselves and their bodies and is an indication of wanting to seek perfection.  The hardest thing for me to say is that girls as young as seven are being given birthday presents of 'A voucher for a boob job in seven years' and even a voucher for liposuction when they are old enough.  I find it repulsive to hear that girls mothers are teaching them at an early age that they are not yet what is deemed to be 'perfect,' and need to change themselves to be a walking barbie doll.  Women insecure with themselves shouldn't delude their children into believing that they aren't good enough, this is is a foundation for insecurity and all kinds of psychological and physical problems with people.  And for your information, a Barbie's head has a bigger width than its waist.... that's just weird.

Who is the real culprit of the change in British children?  For one, I say the incontinent parents who shove their child in front of the television, expecting them to realise how to correctly hold a knife and fork when truth be told, the children have no clue.  Children for the best part of four years, are solely reliant on their parents and can't just be expected to teach themselves what numbers and colours are.  It is through experience and listening that they gradually develop an understanding of things, the reason why parents can't let their child watch the Tweenies, feed them and then tuck them into bed.  The earlier they can teach their child the basic life skills, the less likely the child will be a cartoon watching zombie that grunts when they want their next meal. 

Not all children are like this, oh no.  I have some family friends with very bright and intelligent young children who will go far in life.  However, I feel it important to reiterate the fact that many children aren't as capable as they used to be and if we don't do something soon, we will have a generation of far less able people who are only reliant on each other and not themselves.  Life skills was a lesson I had in key stage three telling us how to be responsible young adults; I genuinely believe that young children need this lesson, but to teach them how to do the most basic tasks like opening a book- if the parents won't teach them then the schools should.

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