Tuesday, 2 November 2010

I cried this morning.

Driving to school, I burst into tears. Suddenly, unexpectedly, hurting.

The radio was reporting on the proposed cut on benefits in the UK. Talking about how this would plunge some folk deeper into poverty. Discussing the fact that children from poor homes start school at a developmental age of a year younger than their more affluent peers: so a 3 year old with a background of poverty would react and behave like a 2 year old.

That was bad enough. It is amazing that such children are able to catch up. Yet it was pointed out that the lack of money itself does not necessarily mean that development will be affected: it is poverty in upbringing, in parenting, which has the most detrimental effect.

It was what I heard next that affected me most. That secondary aged children, when asked what they wanted most from school, mentioned things such as the skills for a good job; the ability to form lasting friendships; and, overall, these children wanted to be taught how to be good parents. Because they haven't been parented well themselves and, consequently, are under-achievers.

So I burst into tears, at the thought that children are already thinking like adults. Longing to give their children the childhood they haven't experienced themselves. Incredibly sad.

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