Monday, 17 December 2007

All I Want For Christmas Is You

Eureka. At the top of most children's Christmas list is, no not a Nintendo DS, but, time, time with their parents.

The Children's Society, part way through a two year study into childhood in Britain, believes it has discovered some sad truths.
Children of these isles have put time with parents at the top of their priority list.
This is driven by the belief and sister research that finds that due to our long hours of work, we are spending less time with our children, and sitting to eat together is becoming all too rare.
Is it a sad fact of modern life, that parents have to spend more time away from their children in order to meet the growing cost of running a happy family? I don't actually know, and I struggle to comprehend how research done today compares with the hearsay of the past.
In order to combat this, the organisation has published a 16-page guide to assist parents through Christmas, and give plenty of ideas of how to make it an enjoyable and memorable one.
I'm all for ideas, and the theft thereof, however I believe on some levels such assistance can also be to the detriment of parenting.
If we have too much guidance we can become over reliant on it, and eventually pass responsibility to those dishing out advice rather than taking responsibility ourselves.
This may not fall into that category, but it does have some of its hallmarks.
Personally, I'll ask for and read such documents, but I really don't like being told what to do or what my child might want or need.
Max is pretty good at telling me what he wants, and it's my responsibility to know what he needs, and be acutely aware that my input will produce an output, or not, as the case may be.


Violet said...

I think it's a cool idea though, to replace stuff with, say, a family day at the zoo (or whatever the kid wants to do). It's healthier, less materialistic, and might even be cheaper.

Single Parent Dad said...

I agree. But I fear for the tone of being told to do it. Almost implying it's a penance for the parents. Often spending time with my child is of more obvious joy to me than him.

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