Sunday, October 14, 2007

Parents Giving Time to their Children

Henry Porter tells this story in today’s Observer:

In July, during the worst of the summer rain, I saw something that struck me as quite rare. A family of five had paused on their walk along a country lane so that the three children could scramble up a bank where there was a surprisingly good crop of wild strawberries. The children were wet and caked in mud. They were made to share out the strawberries like precious sweets. Then they went on their way, the parents oblivious to their children disappearing into the woods and ambushing each other with handfuls of mud. I haven't seen three happier children for a long time.

On that Saturday afternoon expedition in the rain, you have nearly everything that children need - exercise, attention from their parents, but not undue fussing, a feeling of security and of family, simplicity of entertainment, natural surroundings and a chance for the two sisters and their brother to relate to one another away from TV, their friends and Facebook. The only thing required from the parents was time.

To read the rest of this interesting comment on the political and personal challenges facing children and parents see:

Henry Porter, ‘Turn Off the TV. Forget Facebook. Just Give Your Kids Some Time.’ The Observer, 14 October 2007.

Image: “Strawberries like precious sweets.”