There are some difficult lessons to be learned about human relationships during a lifetime, and we have to deal with some of the toughest ones in our tenderest years.
A friend of mine has a ten year old daughter who is presently going through the pain of a group of three friends splitting up, into one pair of best mates and one abandoned loner. My friend’s little girl is the one who’s been kicked out. I feel for her, I really do, I remember the same thing happening to me when I was eleven - that extra year giving no extra buffer - and I didn’t have to contend with social media and a world of more sophisticated methods to make a person feel isolated. I also feel for my friend.
I’m sure you’re aware of all the recent discussion there’s been around children and gender stereotyping, in the papers, on television and also within social media. In July, I posted this quote on the How to Speak Child Facebook page and it prompted a slew of comments, mostly expressing frustration at how engrained in common language those stereotypes can be.
Physical contact is more important than you may think - especially for our children.
We live in a world of stranger danger and an overwhelming desire to keep our children safe. In light of the horrendous incidents our press have slathered over like hungry dogs, perhaps this is understandable, but I worry that we might be breading a culture that has fear as its driving force.
We thought it was bad enough when Mrs Thatcher put an end to free school milk - but now I struggle to think what ordinary sane person can support Mrs May’s proposal to axe free school lunches.
It doesn’t even make economic sense, as the costs of treating those children who are now to subsist without that one wholesome cooked meal inside them every day - not just in childhood, but later on in life when obesity, diabetes and worse catches up with them - must surely outweigh the spend for those meals in the first place.
“Stilo?! Stilo?! Madame, stilo s’il vous plait?!”
This is the cry that will greet me for the next couple of weeks during my stay at a retreat where I will increase my abilities as a Pilates teacher, as well as enjoying the delights of a fairly remote Berber village some 45 minutes distance south of Marrakech.