Archive for the ‘children’ Category
The BBC reports that a new survey has finally come to some sensible conclusions about parenting. They say:
According to the panel, “excessive individualism” is to blame for many of the problems children face and needs to be replaced by a value system where people seek satisfaction more from helping others rather than pursuing private advantage.
It cites research suggesting that three times as many three year olds living with lone parents or a step-parent have behavioural problems compared with those living with married parents.
“Children with separate, single or step parents are 50% more likely to fail at school, have low esteem, be unpopular with other children and have behavioural difficulties, anxiety or depression,” it argues. [Actually, I don't think that's an argument; it's a statement which is either true or not. It doesn't assign causation, just corrolation.]
[Among its recommendations are:]
• a civil birth ceremony conducted by a registrar in which parents publicly accept the responsibilities of parenthood
• free parenting classes available around the time of birth
• free psychological and family support if relationships struggle
• rules making it easier for parents to stay at home to rear their children
The BBC conclude that the government are unlikely to do anything about this.
The full report is here.
I think it’s very interesting that in the list of recommendations four are aimed at parents, six at teachers, and fourteen at the government. I’m encouraged that one recommendation is aimed at ‘All Society’ though I think we have responsibility to do more than just have a positive attitude towards children.
Today I visited Malmesbury Abbey. It was very nice to wander round this ancient, beautiful, crumbling building and get the clear impression that it is still home to a congregation who are a living expression of the body of Christ. Everywhere, visitors were pointed not only to items of historical interest, but also to the features of the church that express the gospel. Scripture verses were prominently displayed and explained. Tucked away upstairs was a permanent exhibition including a very beautiful 4-volume mediaeval illuminated bible and a first edition of Luther’s commentary on Galatians.
I was particularly struck by the prominently displayed ‘Children’s Charter’ which the nice lady at the door was happy to give me a copy of (for the bargain price of 50p).
1. As a family we should take every opportunity to share Christian life together.
2. There is a need for regular prayer for the whole family of the church.
3. The discovery and development of gifts in adults and children is a key function in the church.
4. Learning is for the whole church, adults and children.
5. Children need to be taught why to go to church.
6. Principles of communion and confirmation need to be taught from the early years.
7. The full diet of Christian worship is for children as well as adults.
8. Fellowship is for all, each belonging meaningfully to the rest.
9. Service is for children to give, as well as adults.
10. Children are equal partners with adults in the life of the church.
I especially like 4, 7 and 8.