We glibly talk about how the cycle of life brings us back to a childlike existence once we reach our dotage, but I had this brought home to me last week, through a very specific example.
I was on the phone to my elderly mother, and once we’d made arrangements to meet for lunch, she said, “Well, at least that’ll give me something to do.”
I asked her if she often found herself with nothing to do, or at a loose end, and she told me that these days she regularly got really bored.
I’m sure you’re aware of all the continuing discussion around children and gender stereotyping, in the papers, on television and also within social media. Some time ago, 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 breeding a culture that has fear as its driving force.
Earlier this year, the Guardian newspaper held an experiment where several families gave up the rules laid down by parents, and handed the power over to the children.
It’s a fascinating read, and there are many parallels with what children and young people have been telling me via the How to Speak Child interviewing project.