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The Forum > Article Comments > Kids rule > Comments

Kids rule : Comments

By Peter West, published 20/10/2006

Unless we learn to say 'no' we are brewing an enormous pot of trouble for our children and grandchildren.

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OK So it's good to say "No" to kids. But it's better to also give reasons (not sermons)when we say "No". It wasn't good when it was "No, because I said so!".
That was a power struggle, and I would hate to see us go back to those bad old days.
It would be even better if we said "yes" to kids more often - "Yes" to spending time with them, going for walks, playing cards, paying computer games with them, listening to them, watching TV movies with them and chatting about what we see.
We could say "Yes": to having a decent sized back yard, instead of a massive house with no garden, "Yes" to playing a game in the yard, going to the park, and not making every sporting activity a thing about winning. "Yes" to just hanging out together with kids, instead of half the other stuff that we do without them.
Christina Macpherson www.antinuclearaustralia.com
Posted by ChristinaMac, Friday, 20 October 2006 9:07:03 AM
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It's always good to hear from a grumpy old man.

Nothing like the good old days: riding 'round in the back of utes; no seatbelts; staying out in the sun all day (what was skin cancer?): especially when these memories are remembered through a child's mind and understanding. Sure there might have been different mores then: the violence that was never mentioned; the lack of respect for education; the fact the the cop who booted kids up the bum may have been the one who became corrupt, but I'll stop with the spoliers.

"A neighbour would tell the policeman, who might tell the boyís father when he saw him in the street or the pub." Quite, then: "The boy would be sent to the woodshed to wait with his pants around his ankles until his father was ready to come out and whack him." and now we pay the price with learned domestic violence.

The fifties were, well, fifty years ago. I can just imagine some old blighter in 1950 saying how much better it was in 1900!

I have no problem with most of your six suggestions. They might go some way to remove the effects of the influence of those (or their parents) raised in the fifties. As for number six: that's the US system and their levels of literacy and numeracy reflect the inadequacies. Iíd add a seventh: get academics into the real world every couple of years or so.
Posted by PeterJH, Friday, 20 October 2006 10:00:34 AM
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Another great article of Mr West's. Whilst I don't jump to some of his conclusions so hastily, I tend to agree with the bulk of his argument, encourage others to brainstorm as he has, and appreciate his habit of offering solutions in his writing.

A fairly under-researched, unspoken issue in contemporary society is the downfall of Australian youth: changing trends in what they do and think in and out of the classroom, the increasing difficulties of their education as a result, and what it means for our future.

Anti-reading begins with parents and worsens due to the technological evolution's gadgets which offer a new level of intellectual interaction beautifully aimed at kids through glorious advertising campaigns, subtle of course to the eyes of parents looking for a quick fix and a way to shut their babies up. Pardon the pomposity, and allow me to offer some examples - xBox, Playstation, crap on TV and (some) crap on the net. These are fast-becoming an irreversible detriment to youth. They offer nothing tied to history, literature, science or the arts. Censorship? Impossible.

It is too easy to blame the system along the lines of that 'well schooled poorly educated' rant. Schools haven't lost the plot, the kids have. It is time for some well-researched Federal initiative. The way children think is becoming increasingly hard to tap into. But where to begin? Is an ultra-modern future-predicting pedagogy in order? As asked elsewhere here at OLO and in other media circles, should we assess the relevance of exactly WHAT our kids are taught in school and change it to provide kids with a new perspective of contemporary Australia using essential elements of written past and present? An acquaintance of mine suggested that the introduction of alternative teaching methods, of say Steiner or Montessori into the mix could help. We are nearly ready to call for a fresh no-bullcrap way of teaching our kids. I've decided that Mr. West's 6 constructive necessities are a fine starting point, and the general notion of his article is one that should provoke thought amongst intellects of this country.
Posted by edwardcav, Friday, 20 October 2006 12:57:58 PM
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How the NT government is bringing in kiddy politics, political officers and sundry socialism to every kid in the NT.

Q to House of NT from Ms Sacilotto:

Can the minister tell the House about the latest government initiative to improve reading skills of students in Territory schools?

ANSWER

Mr Acting Speaker, I thank the member for Port Darwin for her question because, as I have been saying in the House the last couple of days, there is nothing more important than literacy and numeracy, and certainly getting our kids to read. I was really pleased to be with the Chief Minister at lunchtime today at Wanguri School in my electorate with the fantastic preschool students and announcing this program. ... zero to eight years. Every parent in the Northern Territory will get a copy of this kit.

The Chief Ministerís Literacy Achievement Awards recognise the literacy achievements of students, and it is going to be awarded in every classroom across the Northern Territory, encouraging our kids to raise their proficiency. The most improved student in that particular classroom will receive a Chief Ministerís Award, and a Book Pack program which will see members visit schools to read to their students and to donate books. ... our job is not done.

... It is important that all 25 members who have been elected to represent the people of the Northern Territory engage with our schools. I know we all do, and this is just another tool to assist members ...

I cannot finish, Mr Acting Speaker, without thanking the Principal of Wanguri, [] who is a great school leader, [] and the preschools. It was fantastic today and the Chief Minister and I had great pleasure in reading to those kids Bring Rain Coming. It is a great book and I will be donating many copies in and around my electorate
Posted by Gadget, Friday, 20 October 2006 1:11:22 PM
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Happily, and as a result of the stricter parenting of yesteryear, the world is a much better place. After all, it is those who enjoyed authoritain parenting who now run the world today...and look at the great job they are doing.

No further proof needed, of the amazing benefits on offer to the universe of the old 'spare the rod, spoil the child' adage of old.

Seriously, so long as we treat children as enemy we will fashion poor futures for themselves, and so for ourselves.
Posted by Jono123, Friday, 20 October 2006 5:11:06 PM
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Jono ,no one mentioned authoritarian parenting.Children must have boundaries as do responsible adults ,otherwise we all will wallow in anarchy.It is a very long bow that extrapolates a disciplined childhood to the problems the world now faces.If anything we need more discipline and character to face these challenges.We all have become less selfish and egocentric.

Peter West speaks the unpalitable truth and must of us don't like it because it will take a lot of effort by parents and our education systems to remedy it.We need more discipline and respect.Parents need to once again learn the art of raising children,the most important job on this planet.
Posted by Arjay, Saturday, 21 October 2006 7:38:27 AM
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