The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area



Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > Nanny State no substitute for parental responsibility > Comments

Nanny State no substitute for parental responsibility : Comments

By Jeremy Sammut, published 28/10/2008

Outsourcing parental responsibilities to the Nanny State is ultimately self-defeating.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. All
Jeremy assumes that low income people can exercise choice. After being belittled by Centrelink who will cut off your payments for 8 or 12 weeks if you make a mistake there is no spare cash because benefits are designed to keep you in frugal comfort, if you are in the private rental market - grinding poverty.

Jeremy might like to cost fresh fruit and vegetables and contrast this to the price of processed food. Then look at the additives in chips that encourage over indulging and the nutrition value. Jeremy might be aware that humans are designed to eat more carbohydrates than they need to compensate for a diet deficient in protein.

A parent has to have strong self esteem to rise above the wheedling and harping of persistent children. Nothing in the life a mother on social security encourages or reinforces self esteem - so she is far less likely to say "NO". And if life is hard treating yourself with a snack is very cheap reward that delivers immediate gratification.

If we want to stop obesity levels in children we need to stop advertising sugar and fat laden snacks on children's TV programs.

I had hoped this article might have been about something like the foolhardiness of trying to impose Net filters over all internet traffic in Australia. A task that is technically unfeasible, would lower traffic speeds, perhaps to unusable levels, that smacks of political censorship.
Posted by billie, Tuesday, 28 October 2008 9:22:49 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Jeremy should stick to history and ageing. Where's his qualifications to pontificate on the problems that so many well meaning and very responsible parents are having in raising their children as they would like to be able to do?

Multinational marketing aimed unfairly and squarely at young children does come between parents and their best efforts to help their children eat what's "good for them" rather than what's "good to eat". It undermines parents who try to guide their children to age -appropriate choices of entertainment, only to find the cereal packets,fast food outlets, competitions, TV ads are urging them to see the latest violent M movie. And more.

Parenting is a demanding task made more difficult by marketers who advertise to kids with little apparent concern for the consequences for healthy child development or for society as a whole. In the words of US media commentator Robert W McChesney, advertisers "just pick children up by the ankles and shake them till all the money drops out of their pockets (and their parents) and then they let them go".
Posted by beb, Tuesday, 28 October 2008 9:31:33 AM
Find out more about this user Visit this user's webpage Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
From the tone of this article it would appear that Jeremy regards "the poor" simply as a demographic - one as unknown and exotic as "The Inuit".

Billy's post shows much more knowledge of the subjects about whom the author seems to have garnered generalist assumptions but little or no actual knowledge!

"The poor" are not a generic sub-species of generalised habits. Their stories are many and diverse but, as Billie points out, they all share the problem of trying to bring up children in a society where fresh fruit costs more than sweetened, calorific choices, where "fresh" veggies are anything but, where brown, unprocessed bread costs more than white, processed pap and where multi-media advertising combined with peer-pressure exerts a great influence.

Parents who have not been well educated themselves in nutrition and health are unlikely to be able to enforce the precepts of nutritionists, paediatricians, et.al to whom they have little or no access and whose messages are usually preached to the converted and are not heard by the very people they need to target.

Doubt the power of advertising? I'm willing to wager that a blitz campaign combining FREE education; flooding target areas with print propaganda; television saturation on a scale which is now reserved for corporation giants like fast-food outlets; and schools campaigns all aimed at community health would have a great effect.

But that would all cost rather a lot of money, wouldn't it? Its much cheaper to make token protests at parental irresponsibility, write didactic and sporadic articles, and decry those pesky poor people who are such a nuisance to society. Salves the conscience a little too.
Posted by Romany, Tuesday, 28 October 2008 11:22:25 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Well said Jeremy, itís not rocket science, my children are overweight but itís not my fault I am not responsible or accountable for my actions as a parent because I donít know whatís making them fat?

Donít stop at restricting/banning fatty food advertising there are lots of other Ďbadí ads that would benefit the community with removal.

Oh nanny state come to my help, perhaps my children need to be Ďrelocatedí into a state controlled environment while I get Ďre-educatedí

If you as a parent canít be held responsible or accountable for the health of you own children, donít have kids!
Posted by DVD, Tuesday, 28 October 2008 2:25:41 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
DVD - I'm not advocating a nanny state either, but I do think that various Governmental Departments whose existence is brought about for specific agenda should be more in touch.

Its simplistic to expect that everyone approaches parenthood from exactly the same place. Education, social mileau, the way in which one's own family impacted upon one, sophistication of thought - all these contribute to the way individual families behave. Misguided or ignorant persons do not KNOW they are misguided or ignorant. Not even "The Poor" deliberately act towards their children with malicious intent to shorten their lives or make them unhealthy and obese.

However, Government agencies which are responsible for health, pediatrics and, most importantly, education, in order to perform their functions at least adequately, should have a better knowledge of the factors which contribute to the problems in society - allied to realistic strategies to bring about favourable outcomes.

Yes, in a perfect world parents would all have equal and informed knowledge of how to bring up perfect children. But the world is not perfect. Government initiatives, rather than simply telling one what is wrong, should exist to identify and realistically to be able to strategise solutions for those who, unlike you, are unable (for whatever cause)to do so for themselves.
Posted by Romany, Tuesday, 28 October 2008 3:14:20 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
The problem with the banning of junk food ads, apart from the issue of identifying what is and what is not junk food - pies, sausages, chips, chocolate and ice cream,for example, could all legitimately claim to be served in some of Australia's best reataurants - is that all parents are treated as equally culpable. The latest State of Victoria's Children report, compiled by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, shows that about 7% of Victorian children are obese. That is, about 93% are not. The Local Government Areas in which the bulk of the obese 7% live are known, though not identified in the public report.

Instead of intervening in the lives of most families and interfering with legal commercial activities, why would government not ensure the supply of fresh food at reasonable prices in the LGAs where obesity is most common? This would involve actually doing something rather than looking like doing something.

One final point: there is an unhealthy element of determinism in this so-called obesity epidemic. My son is 20, a fit 183 cms tall and finishing the second year of his university degree. For most of the first five years of his life, he lived on peanut butter sandwiches and chips. Like most kids, he grew out of it. I worry that at a time when we are healthier and living longer than ever before, we are inventing a crisis where none exists and interfering in individual lives in an unwarranted and dangerous way.
Posted by Senior Victorian, Tuesday, 28 October 2008 3:35:14 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy