UK and US worst places to bring up children?

Snoopy

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"The UK has been accused of failing its children, as it comes bottom of a league table for child well-being across 21 industrialised countries."

contd...

BBC NEWS | UK | UK is accused of failing children


...and the US comes next to bottom...


This UNICEF report seems a damning indictment; but only seems to confirm what we see day after day. And when they grow into adults?....And have children of their own?.....

s.
 
Doesn't surprise me at all. It's interesting that the first government reaction here has been that the economic figures are out of date. This has been their attitude all along - they have simply no idea whatever that life exists outside the bank balance.

In the name of prosperity we have now destroyed families, communities and neighbourhoods. Most people now don't even know what's been taken away from them, and think that a bigger house or a faster car will rescue them from the state of apalling emptiness into which they've been sucked.

We won't even be able to start putting this right until we have learned a new political vocabulary which describes how people can enjoy sharing this planet together.
 
I think it is parents that fail children not governments.

We want the gov't to do so much for us anymore it just makes no sense to me.

Want your children better educated, study with them. Want your children better behaved, give them clear guidelines. Want your children to know G-d, take them to your place of worship and discuss life with them.

Generically we expect the TV and the school to teach our kids everything and complain when it isn't right. I so understand home schoolers.
 
Doesn't surprise me at all. It's interesting that the first government reaction here has been that the economic figures are out of date. This has been their attitude all along - they have simply no idea whatever that life exists outside the bank balance.

In the name of prosperity we have now destroyed families, communities and neighbourhoods. Most people now don't even know what's been taken away from them, and think that a bigger house or a faster car will rescue them from the state of apalling emptiness into which they've been sucked.

We won't even be able to start putting this right until we have learned a new political vocabulary which describes how people can enjoy sharing this planet together.

Hi,

I couldn't agree more. The report cites the "dog eat dog" mentality of society and this seems key to me; I think I'd trace it back to Thatcher's infamous comment about there being no such thing as society. If there wasn't then, there might well not be now. The country seems obsessed with self self self, I me and mine. We look after ourselves, maybe our friends and family and two fingers to everybody else. It's as if the world exists just for our own private gain and pleasure. You see it every day on the roads where drivers think the roads are their personal routes rather than what they really are - shared public places.

s.
 
Hi,

"dog eat dog" mentality of society and this seems key to me; I think I'd trace it back to Thatcher's infamous comment about there being no such thing as society. If there wasn't then, there might well not be now.

The country seems obsessed with self self self, I me and mine. We look after ourselves.

It's as if the world exists just for our own private gain and pleasure.
s.

I would with all honesty say that is a painted picture of me.. So I am quite sure there are many, many... more people like me. *shrugs* Not sure what could or can change that mentality...
 
I think it is parents that fail children not governments.

We want the gov't to do so much for us anymore it just makes no sense to me.

Want your children better educated, study with them. Want your children better behaved, give them clear guidelines. Want your children to know G-d, take them to your place of worship and discuss life with them.

Generically we expect the TV and the school to teach our kids everything and complain when it isn't right. I so understand home schoolers.

Well here's a few suggestions just for starters.
  • Pay one parent of younger children a good allowance to stay at home.
  • Stop closing local community facilities.
  • Stop closing local schools and build new ones.
  • Give tax incentives to local shops.
  • Stop advertising aimed at children.
  • Stop criminalising drug users and start helping them.
Just these alone will start to make families more secure, bring normal life back to neighbourhoods, drive out drug dealers, get children properly supervised by parents who have time and energy to spend with them in homes that are cared for, reduce bullying at school, reduce pressure on kids to conform to brand tyranny, and much more.

All this can be done by a government which puts people before cash.
 
Well here's a few suggestions just for starters.
  • Pay one parent of younger children a good allowance to stay at home.
  • Stop closing local community facilities.
  • Stop closing local schools and build new ones.
  • Give tax incentives to local shops.
  • Stop advertising aimed at children.
  • Stop criminalising drug users and start helping them.
Just these alone will start to make families more secure, bring normal life back to neighbourhoods, drive out drug dealers, get children properly supervised by parents who have time and energy to spend with them in homes that are cared for, reduce bullying at school, reduce pressure on kids to conform to brand tyranny, and much more.

All this can be done by a government which puts people before cash.
Some of this sounds like this is just more asking the gov't to do a parent's job for them. I guess it is a matter of what one thinks the gov't should be involved in.
 
Some of this sounds like this is just more asking the gov't to do a parent's job for them. I guess it is a matter of what one thinks the gov't should be involved in.

Well no. That would be true if the government started setting up nurseries to look after children (as they are), punishing children through the courts for misbehaving (as they are), threatening "bad" parents (as they are). This is interfering. Allowing parents time and money to look after their homes and kids themselves, is not doing their job for them.
 
Making some media changes at my place soon. Going to have the BBC available again in the next few days! Looking forward to it.

17th Angel said:
I would with all honesty say that is a painted picture of me.. So I am quite sure there are many, many... more people like me. *shrugs* Not sure what could or can change that mentality...

You know, that is exactly what I like about you, Angel--your ability and willingness to take a good, honest look at yourself and others. You inspire me.

InPeace,
InLove
 
Just looking back at this thread, the worst places to bring up a child in any country in any time.... Is the place we as humanity consider a place of bad, when there are good people there... A reconised place of bad... Don't do down there don't live there don't talk to people there don't trust anyone there don't love anyone there... That is the worst of places to bring up a child......

And inlove... No it was you whom inspired me, thank you greatly. I mean come on your the only person who ever called me angel....
 
...when I was a small child I was on the TV... I was five years old, and I sat up til 10'o clock to watch News At Ten, and see myself on the TV...

...like a famous person... feeling all special...

...yet...

...the news cameras had come to our group of high rise flats because we were officially the poorest part of the european union and they wanted to show the world what the deprivation of Victorian England looked like when transported to the 20th century...

This was the 1980's... Britian and America were in economic reccession ...again... Maggie Thatcher had worked over the Unions, outsourced work to other countries to fulfill EU quotas, and privatised the whole host of National services such as the energy and water companies, telecoms, millions of people were claiming benefits, and the country was not exporting anything worth shouting about- except arms...

While the prime ministers own son was making lucrative arms deals people like my uncle were queueing up in lines for free EU butter, and free EU meat, donated by Europe because we could not feed our own poor...

privatisation equals deprivation...

...people started organising, ppl started dissenting, small riots started breaking out, and then heroin came into play...

et voila...

instead of dissenting, ppl began to drop out, and die...

...then the government had a war, to make some money for the country and kill off a few thousand working class men who would otherwise have been fighting the system for more benefit money... and we made a few billion, and then we collectively moved on to brighter things...

yet...

...antisocial behaviour and crime are through the roof, the schools are rubbish, we do not top the international polls in any respect- science, industry, our global happiness...

...we are watching a failing society bravely try to ingore its own gaping wounds, and yet...

we're not just failing the kids... old ppl are dying of hypothermia because they cannot afford to heat their homes, the health service are issuing advice to ppl about health conditions such as scurvy... the hospitals are filthy, drug abuse is rife, and a quarter of schools are rated unsatisfactory...

...But look in the paper for jobs... if you are a professional who works with ppl, ur okay... there's hundreds of jobs helping drug addicts get better and looking after the children of the poor, or mopping up messes... what does that tell us about our nation?

...there are pockets of poverty in this country which are so great that the level of antisocial behaviour and crime which results from this poverty makes these areas no go zones for police and emergency services... there are no banks, no local shops, no job opportunities, yet ppl are packed into these sink estates, all on benefits, second and third generation welfare claimants, no university educations and swimming pools and copies of the Manifesto...

...there are appeals on television at present... a government run childrens hospital is trying to raise money so it can take better care of its children... yet the government makes a 330 billion pound profit from fighting a fake war...

...MP's and civil servants are making hundreds of thousands of pounds fiddling their expense accounts and employing their own children in jobs which do not exist, and everywhere we go corruption and corpulence are there, right on the pavement...

the country's biggest problems? obesity...and... antisocial behaviour...

what does that tell us? ... That society is full of greedy idiots with no boundaries...

as above, so below...

the capitalist economy exhorts you to corpulence and selfishness... if you are greedy and irresponsible they can sell you your wants and fulfill ur desires and you will be easy prey...

we have been here before...

once again the falsity of capitalism has exposed it's soft underbelly... do we, the small yet brave heroes rush in, and slice it open, revel in it's destruction?

No... instead... we get into drugs, or making a little pile for ourselves, or distract ourselves with deferring action until we have the promise of a glittering future, and we fall back into the arms of Morpheus, and sleep again for a while...

and so on it goes...

if there is hope, it lies in the proles...
 
I feel for you, too, Francis. There are similar problems in the United States. Half the people in the US who live in poverty are children. And aside from the poverty, there are a lot of kids that are materially cared for but ignored, neglected, abused.

I grew up in poverty, but I wouldn't trade my parents for the world. They may have been poor, but they were excellent parents. My mother provided stability in herself no matter how unstable the rest of our world was. Home was where she was, even when that home was a campground or a car.

There are social attributes that make it easier for parents to parent well: economic stability that allows one parent to remain at home when their children are young, universal health care for children, educational institutions that teach a love of learning rather than memorization for tests, communities that support parents. We do, indeed, need society to be restructured a bit to provide parents the optimal resources.

However, part of the problem is that many people in the States are selfish and aren't willing to do much for thier kids. I grew up with a lot of kids who were middle and upper class and had tons of stuff. Their parents gave them cash instead of attention, though, and they were damaged by it. There was a reason most of my friends wanted to congregate at my house, despite us having no living room furniture, no television, and no good snacks. It was because my mom was willing to give them the attention they craved from their own parents but never received. She'd listen to them about their lives. She was genuinely interested. She was a trusted advisor and would tell them the truth about her life, her reflections on their lives, the world in general. She was fun and knew when to blast rock music, take us all to the beach or mountains, or go on "million dollar window shopping" at the mall. Most of all, they could see that even though she worked three jobs and I had to help out a ton at home (and so missed football games, parties, and whatnot)-- she was invested in us above all else. We came first.

While their own parents made far more money and had many more options, they showed their children that they weren't important because they didn't use that money or options to actually parent their kid. Sure, they pushed cash their way, but they didn't take them out to spend it with them. Sure, they went on vacation with their kids, but then they'd leave them on their own and spend all their time doing their own thing. My mom may only have scraped together $10 every now and then for fun, but she made it clear that what was fun to her was to spend the day with us, whether going to the beach, or going out for Denny's cheap Grand Slam breakfasts... We knew she saw us as friends, companions as well as children. We knew we were, no matter what, loved beyond measure.

I saw so many kids with all the right stuff- rooms of their own, latest technology, large allowances, vacations, tutoring... end up on drugs, severely depressed, and generally screwed up. Because it isn't about the stuff you have, it's about the relationships you have. Stuff never shows love the way time and sincere interest does. Stuff doesn't yield trust in a parent. This is why my friends talked to my mom about sex, drugs, anxieties about college and life, their fears and worries, depression... and not to their own parents. Most were afraid their own parents would never accept them as they were. They felt they were their parents' accessories- like the house and car and clothing. They were something their parents wanted as part of the image they showed the world. They were objects.

We can certainly help some families, particularly in the lower classes and working poor, bring up children better by providing more resources. But we also have to change our culture of "me, me, me" to have those resources translate into loving parents, trust, support, community.

As an aside, I'm very excited to be starting a non-profit this year to deal with social and environmental issues like this, with creative grassroots, local solutions. My mom, sister and I are filing our non-profit and it should be fully operational at the end of 2008. One of our first projects is going to be the creation of workshops and support structures as part of a program to start local movements to educate and support parents. I hope it works. Our nation's kids need it...
 
if there is hope, it lies in the proles...

It doesn't take a genius to see that the present political class (in the UK at least) is living in another world from the rest of us. There is no real communication or interest in the others world. The present is rapidly becoming unsustainable and a revolution will have to erupt to bring about an end to the torrid society that has been created. How this revolution comes about and manifests who knows? It may not be benign. The only definite is: it will be a revolution, with all that that likely entails.

s.
 
A superb concise history of the last 1/4 century in the UK Francis.
 
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