With interest, I read this 35 paged report called “Putting Children First” available here: http://www.savechildhood.net/putting-children-first.html. This is a United Kingdom publication, but the challenges these children are facing are similar to here in the United States:
Young children today are subject to a range of cultural pressures that were simply unknown to previous generations. Family life has significantly changed, they live in a rapidly advancing digital world, they are much less trusted and more controlled, they have fewer freedoms and significantly less access to nature, they are highly vulnerable
to the dangers of commercialisation and sexualisation and the quality and depth of their learning in the early years has moved from being intrinsically connected to family and community to become increasingly seen as primarily a preparation for later schooling. Child wellbeing in the UK has been the subject of increasing concern. Currently one
in ten children is being diagnosed with a mental health disorder,4 one in three is clinically obese,5 one in 12 of our adolescents deliberately harm themselves and nearly 80,000 children and young people currently suffer from severe depression including 8,000 children aged under 10 years of age. This is a deeply worrying situation that needs to be
tackled head on.
We are dealing with a pandemic crisis in childhood. If this was bubonic plague attacking our children, the government and every citizen would be concerned. But to hear of isolated cases of a mental health disorder in a teenager, or isolated cutting and additive behaviors, isolated cases of obesity within one area – no one seems to really be paying that much attention on a national level. There have been different movements in the United States focusing on different aspects of children’s health and education, but no one movement that encompasses the many branches needed to bring healing to this generation has taken place. I have not seen any public health campaigns for the things that I think would make the most lasting impressions upon helping our children.
What would it look like to really help our children get the best start? Here some ideas, but there are certainly many more areas so feel free to add yours in the comment box below! Continue reading