Editor's Blog

Teacher - leave those kids alone!

I was more shocked than I believed I could still be at my age by a story recounted to me recently by a close friend. This friend, in her middle years, having brought up three children of her own, decided to adopt a sibling group of five brothers and sisters - the youngest only a baby and the oldest just five. My friend and her brilliant partner did an amazing job of providing a loving, nurturing home for these five little ones, who had come from a profoundly impoverished background, while at the same time battling the doubtless well-intentioned, but highly intrusive, attentions of social services. (Let me say at this point that my friend doesn’t live in the UK.)

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Routines – parents want them and they are so important

Any birth and parent educator will frequently have facilitated discussions about ‘getting babies and small children into a routine’. Parents-to-be and new parents are anxious about this because they see a routine as a means of regaining some control over their own lives and ensuring that the new baby doesn’t deprive them of all the ‘me-time’ and ‘our-time’ that they need in order to be mentally healthy. And this is, of course, entirely legitimate. Mothers and fathers who are enjoying their lives as well as their parenting make far better parents which, in turn, means that their offspring enjoy greater well-being. There’s also another reason for parents’ instinctive focus on developing routines. They’re manifesting an evolutionary adaptive response to keeping their children (and themselves) safe and healthy. When group of humans meet together at regular, pre-determined intervals to talk, eat or sleep together, the group can check on its members. Are they all present? Is everyone well? Does anyone have concerns which should be shared because they might affect the safety of the whole group? Are group members aware of the needs of others in the group?

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