Blogging Up The Works

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The sins of the father....

are visited upon the child. Or perhaps given to in this case.

This is going to be a bit of a 3 point ramble. Or it is when I started typing. It may expand, be warned!

Yesterday, at Marj's school, there was an "incident", the modern day euphamism for everything from a hissy fit to a murder. Whilst not the latter it was serious enough for the boy involved to be excluded. So the school rang the mother to come and collect him. After 2 hours they rang her again. She decided she was too busy to come at the moment. Another 3 hours later and she deigned to turn up. She then decided that everything was the schools fault. How they had caused her childs bad behaviour, never given him a chance, etc, etc.

Is the mother right, is the school right? The background may give you a clue. The mother was called because of course, the father isn't about, he is serving at Her Majestys Pleasure. Not sure why she was busy as she wasn't looking after the two older boys because they are both in Feltham Young Offenders Unit.

The shame is, that although this boys older siblings were always trouble, he wasn't, but it has been obvious to all those at the school that he would go the same way, even though they've tried to help him. It would be quite easy to see him as a young troublemaker but I just feel sorry for him. I've met him, very briefly, just once. It was actually whilst he was getting into trouble for something else, but I don't think he's a really bad kid. Just unlucky in his upbringing. You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family.

But this links on to another tale.

In September, Marjs school is likely to be given a new pupil entering Year 6. It's their "turn". This boy has been excluded from virtually every other school in the borough, including the unit that takes excluded pupils! He's violent. But of course he has rights. His parents have rights. There is an expectation that he should be educated in a mainstream school. He won't be at her school long. He will almost definitely get excluded within the first term, if not half term. But I'm more concerned about the rights of the child who is going to be on the receiving end of the punch/kick/beating that gets him excluded. I'm all for giving someone another chance, maybe, two, probably not as many as he's had, and certainly not when the specialist schools staff can't control him. Would you like to offer him a place in your childs school?

Lastly, someone was talking on the radio the other day and made a point that got me thinking. They were saying that when my generation was young we were wheeled about in prams that faced our mother, or occasionally father. That way we were always in sight of her, always reassured, always being spoken to, and thus always learning Now, many babies and small children face away, towards the world. They don't have that contact. They're not developing their language skills, they are on their own. The worst pushchairs that I have seen are the ones where the parent takes the kid jogging and pushes it along, facing forward. If I was a small child I'd be scared stiff. Maybe in the end it doesn't make a blind bit of difference, I'm sure those who have outward facing pushchairs believe it isn't a bad thing, but I do wonder whether it has made a difference.

Your comments please.


  • I've heard a lot of bollocks about the push chair thing, as a (relatively) new parent, and the article you read/heard falls into that category. Tom loved his forward-facing push chair and, even now he can walk/run/escape, he still sometimes asks to be pushed in it. He loved it because he could see what was going on around him and constantly pointed/shouted at things he saw.

    Pushchairs do not make bad children. Parents that don't interact with their child make bad children, for sure, but a forward-facing pushchair is not a part of that. When I was pushing him around, we would always be chatting, looking at things and discussing what we saw (he asks "what's thhaaaaat?" all the time). Parents who dump their child in front of the telly all the time (and I'm not averse to some dumping - it's a life-saver when I'm trying to cook; you can't gut a trout with a two-year-old at your ankles) are the sort of parent who will bring a bad child into school because they don't interact. I wonder if they read a bedtime story, do drawing together, play with toys together or stop to look at bees and flowers in the hedgerows/park - by keeping a child interested and interacting with parents and other people (you don't need both parents, BTW, but that's another subject), then you get a child that is interesting and interactive. Input -> output.

    But forward facing pushchairs? Bollocks of the first order.

    By Blogger Graham, At 9:43 PM  

  • I've not heard the pushchair/pram argument before. It's an interesting thought. However, even if parents still used prams, the kid would only be in it for the first 12 months or so. Not enough to have any behavioral effect in those early days, I wouldn't think.

    Like Graham says, I think the key is in interaction.

    By Blogger Masher, At 7:12 PM  

  • idYes, I agree. Interaction is everything. And there will always be parents who are totaly involved in every aspect of their childrens development. I would expect no less of Graham, although I'm obviously worried in case he puts the trout in front of the telly and tries to gut Tom! :) There will always be the ones who don't interact at all. You see them pushing their children along or walking with them on their mobile phone all the time, telling the kids off for disturbing their highly important conversation as to who's shagging who at the moment.

    Yes, the pram debate might only cover the first 12 months, but is that not the time when the contact between parent and child is highly crucial.

    I suppose, through Marj, I am more in contact with the bad parenting brigade. The children would be fine, but everything about the parents attitude seems to be that they are a nuisance to them. They don't go to school events, they won't pay for coaches to take their children on school trips, (although no problem buying cigarettes and drink), don't take their children out in the holidays. There is one child who has never been out of Brentford, never had a picnic, (Richmond Park is one bus ride away). Many have never seen the sea or the countryside.

    Lastly, on the forward facing pushchair, my earliest memories are going shoppping with my mum who had a wicker shopping basket on wheels. I loved standing in that and being pushed along. For all the cars I have ever had or ever willl have, I still don't think I will enjoy them as much as "driving" that wicker basket with my mum.

    By Blogger kennamatic, At 8:30 AM  

  • Hello, hello, hello. Do you have a licence for that basket, sir? And where is your tax disc? May I see your insurance documents?

    Pushchairs - yes, the first twelve to eighteen months - and then only for perhaps a maximum of one hour a day. Sorry, I just don't think they have any impact at all.

    Was your wicker basket forward facing?

    By Blogger graybo, At 9:50 AM  

  • And look! I've finally taken the time to alter my nom-de-plume to my, um, nom-de-plume! hurrah!

    By Blogger graybo, At 9:51 AM  

  • It was actually a round basket so I could face forward, backward, sideways nd also a crumpled heap in the bottom when I fell over.

    By Blogger kennamatic, At 8:13 AM  

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