Originally published 14th December 2009
Almost daily we hear or read of concern over the education of our youngsters. When they refer to youngsters they often mean those that are under five years old. It was recently reported that the performance of four and five-year-olds had taken a step back. This was the result of teacher assessments in the basics of reading, writing and adding up.
It was also stated that there was an alarming dip in less academic measures, including emotional development, social development and dispositions and attitudes. There were also other subjects mentioned like knowledge and understanding of the world, creative development, language for communication and thinking, as well as several more. What are they trying to do to our young children?
Did You Know?
Before the last war children did not start school until they joined an infants class when they were at least four or five years old. That doesn’t mean they were any less intelligent. What they learned in those first years would never be forgotten and was a solid foundation on which to build their education.
Valley Lad appears in this photo bottom left, and he will be 90 years old on the 18th June 2014 – Happy Birthday Dad!
At a very early age, babies try to imitate those closest to them. That is what makes the parents input is so important. Wasn’t ‘Fathers and Mothers’ a game played by all youngsters as soon as they were old enough to have dolls with prams, toy tea sets and sometimes even a doll’s house?
Didn’t young boys always want toy tool sets and imitations of various uniforms like bus conductors and railway guards so if they couldn’t help daddy they could copy what they had seen him do? At the table in their high chair is where they were first made aware of table manners. Today some would say that’s not important but the truth is, that was the start of their lessons in discipline and there were many more learned in that same way.
A child has greater needs in this world than the ability to add up and spell. They can more easily learn those at a later date. With the surroundings of their home and the people in it using their experience and understanding to demonstrate, they are taught the basic values that will hold them in good stead all through their life. Although there are some who will forget or disregard some of these teachings during their earliest years, as they get older, what was implanted in their undefiled mind in that first five years will slowly re-emerge.
It is unfortunate that our society no longer gives mothers the opportunity to stay at home with their young babies as they did in days gone by. After maternity leave they are obliged to return to work to ensure they can meet their financial commitments and keep up with their mortgage repayments. The babies become the responsibility of a minder until one of its parents return home. This service usually has to be paid for and puts more strain on the family purse. I don’t know if they are able to keep the same minder for all the time before a child starts school but I doubt it!
What chance can there be of a real lasting bonding between parents and their child when they are so often parted, with a substitute standing in who usually has other very young babies to care for at the same time?
How many other species are there in the world where the mother is separated from her offspring and does not nurture and protect it full time during the early stages of its life. With the best training and experience available no carer or teacher can possibly be expected to fill such a role.
Even if it was possible to give that sort of attention to one child, how could they cope with the other children of various ages and from different backgrounds they were responsible for while they were doing it? — And what about their special care?
Considering it further, if a carer did give the time and commitment necessary and was able to bond with a child as a mother would, what would the parents reaction be when they found there were times when their baby was only content receiving attention from someone else.
We obviously have a Social problem in this Country and the only way this situation can be resolved is to restore our domesticity. We can’t go back exactly as we were but a way must be found to allow young people to plan and build a home unit where children grow up guided and supported at all times by their own family circle.
The blame for the predicament we find ourselves in cannot always be put on the parents. In most cases they have no alternative, if they have no grandparents or older generation to fall back on they have to turn to minders for help.
It is the result of successive governments who not only destroyed the family unit as we knew it but in doing so they took away our children’s natural refuge and centre for guidance as well as their chance to learn such things as the basics of good healthy living in the way nature intended.
One of the major contributions to this dilemma was made when working hours were cut so jobs available increased to alleviate embarrassing unemployment figures. This meant that both partners were obliged to work in order to earn enough to support them and pay their dues.
Very few young couples starting out today can manage on one wage. Even those who are better off and with a higher education are often tied down with debts running into thousands of pounds before they even get a job. There seems to be no sign of a solution as yet but one will have to be found soon!
valley lad – [SEVENTYFIVE]
RIP M B 26-01-2016 x