View Full Version : Lost Childhood

tall and tasty
7th Dec 2004, 08:18
Not sure if this has been done (I did do a quick search) but does anyone fell the same about their kids not having a childhood!

My eldest this morning had a complete stress attack over a piece of homework which she had not been able to finish in over and hour and half the night before. She will get a detention for not doing it in full! So off we got to school stressed!

The pressure on her from her piers at school seems great too. They no longer play with dolls but talk about makeup boyfriends and the latest fashions! At her age and she is only 8 I never though about things like that!

Fashion is the biggest thing on the agenda with please can I have this crop top/dress high schools make up etc! But you are a young girl I cry! :rolleyes:

The fact they canít really go out and have fun in the playground with the constant threat of is the person standing over there going to hurt me. She hates watching the childrenís news round as it is now showing graphic images she finds upsetting!

She desperately wants a mobile phone! Good idea I think but then is she going to be a target for someone who wants to take it from her! It should not be a problem but can be :(

The thing I am trying to say is where has the freedom of being a kid gone! As a child I could walk to the shops, play with my friends outside with no worries. Never thought about the latest fashions happier to play with my toys and not comp games.

Am I the only sad mother on the planet who feels like this! Do we expect too much from them or is it all right to let them grow up too fast?

Love to hear others views on this one :D


7th Dec 2004, 08:34
Couldn't agree more T&T, my girl isnt four yet, and I am gonna do my best to keep her from the fashion trap, but to be honest a lot of the pressure comes from parents. Parents at my daughters school are continuously trying to out-do the other parents, sending their kids to school wearing expensive clothes and shoes, that kind of thing. In Belgium it was Sinta Klaas weekend, ie: when the kids get their pressies, and the school allowed them to bring one pressy to class today to play with and share. The looks passing between parents, without words, were astonishing...barely hiding the fact they were assessing their own kids presents against the others. My girl took in a hand held thingy with flashing lights that plays music, cost a couple of euros...the other kids all wanted it, much to the annoyance of their parents!!

Its a sad reflection of the world today, but image is everything, just look around you, advertisements, "celeb" news and glamour, its all about the haves and the have nots. Blame it on the media, blame it on technology....its not the easy environment to grow up in that it used to be. Very sad.

tall and tasty
7th Dec 2004, 10:02
Mike Jenvey

She may have 1.5hrs home work only but starts school at 0800 and finishes at 1700 a long day for a little one with the extra ballet piano etc added on after that 1700 finish. She will get in and desperately wants to do things other than homework but as you say it never is left until the last minute. It is all done and then time to watch a video or read a book and then bed.

Unfortunately detentions are a thing in her school and the names go on the board in a name and shame policy so others in her house can see who is pulling the house down. I personally think it is a tactic in bullying them in to doing well which pressurise those who are not as apt as others. She is the youngest in her year too and doing very well with her marks but at what cost!

I am firm and not one to give in easily to the cries of so and so has that at school too

Thanks for your imput

I do agree with fourthreethree

but image is everything, just look around you, advertisements, "celeb" news and glamour, its all about the haves and the have nots.

and that is one of the hardest things to install in a child that they don't need to look like that yet!


7th Dec 2004, 10:27

I think Mike Jenvey was expressing surprise that she had so much homework at her age, not that she had so little.

I didn't get any homework at junior school until age 11 (and then it was voluntary. And I did. :uhoh:). Also there was no detention at junior school - you could get stood in the corner (or corridor) or sent to see the headmistress - a terrifying dprospect. Or, as a final resort, a letter would be sent to the parents which usually resulted in a certain amount of pain in the backside for the miscreant.

Formal homework and detention didn't start until secondary school.

I beleive one of the main problems these days is the pressure on schools to get good results for the league tables. This seems to result in two things happening, pressure on the kids (which is what is happening to your daughter) and a narrowing of the curriculum - there isn't time to explore the litle byways that open up sometimes, the set curriculum must be followed at all times and all costs. Both of which are a shame since learning should be fun, not a pressurised chore (it always was and has been for me) and following those threads provided some of the most fascinating (and useful) lessons I ever had.

tall and tasty
7th Dec 2004, 10:37
Thanks MadsDad

I re-read the reply and see what you mean

I totally agree with what you have said about school and learning should be fun and now seriously considering moving schools because of it.


7th Dec 2004, 10:56
Detention for an 8 year old are they insane?

move school

7th Dec 2004, 11:06

I wonder how much some things have really changed?

I cannot say that my times at school 'were the best years of my life'. I cannot deny that I learnt a lot which has put me in good stead for later in life (although I'm now starting to forget to much :ugh: ) but it was not the jolly experience one keeps reading others having.

Having brought up three daughters - all now early twenties - it is a wonder that my wife and I stayed sane. We had all the same worries - especially when 'boys' started making an appearance....

We have - however - been very fortunate as a family. No traumas or heartache and as a result we are proud of my three balanced daughters who have all achieved in their own ways.

All you can ever do is 'do your best' - freedom, respect and responsibility are things that children actually understand. All the children I've known which have all gone 'off the rails' have lacked at least one of these criteria.

This is probably not the panacea to everything but it worked for us.


P.S - still wanting to sort out the vicious maths teacher who did not want to know that I could not work out fractions. I got a caning for continually getting them wrong! :sad:

7th Dec 2004, 11:22
TnT Children are what the word says children .They are not yet at the age of yours.."young adults" as some people say,but young sentient homo sapiens who have emotions and feelings. All this target stuff that MadsDad correctly says is ruining their upbringing and education.The sooner these luvvie duvvie left wingers and so called education gurus(whatever qualifications they have!) realise this the better.Otherwise we might as well go back to the 19th century and shove them down the pits or up the chimney's.

Flip Flop Flyer
7th Dec 2004, 11:23
I belive there is something fundamentally wrong with a system that sees 8 year old kids in school for 9 hours followed by 1.5 hours of homework. Next you'll tell me they are getting midterms or other quizzes and I'll just have to shake my head in disbelief. They're just small kids for crying out loud, there'll be plenty of time for them to grow up!

But if you put 8 year old kids in a 'grown-up' environment where they 'work' the same hours and is running a very compressed extra curricular scheme then don't be surprised if they also adopt the habits of the 'grown-ups' such as fashino, fitness, sweethearts and stress.

Blame yourself for allowing your kids to grow up in an environment that foster these reactions.

For what it's worth, my daughter is 8 and started 2nd grade this summer. School is every day from 8 to 12, followed by another 3-4 hours in day care centre for kids from 7-12. She has a very limited amount of homework, which is usually accomplished in the day care centre. She's allowed to be a kid, and therefore she acts like a kid. And I'll do my damndest to keep her as far away from the adult side of this world until she's no longer a little kid.

I appreciate that different strokes suit different people and all that, but if you've ever travelled the world you'll know that childern are children whereever you go. And sending your kid off to school at the tender age of 4 or 5 is outright cruelty if you ask me. Academically it doesn't seem to make much of a difference either whether you start them at 4 or 7 and whether they 'work' 4 or 9 hours before the age of around 10-12. It may, however, have the effect on kids that T&T describes.

The Japanese schooling system has ample proof of what may happen if we pace our kids too much and too early. You don't really want to see your kid hanging by a string from the roof because she only got a B in History at the age of 10, do you?

tall and tasty
7th Dec 2004, 11:36
Thanks guys for all your replies

The more I read the more I realise the school they are at even though at the time they started I though was what they needed. I now realise I may have made the biggest mistake. As you have all said they need a childhood and that can never be given back to them as they grow up.

On weekends we do everything they want even though I work and would love just doing what I want to do, I feel they do need to have fun. Living history places they love where they explore the bygone days even if it is just a ruined castle.

I started this not sure who the responses would be and it is refreshing that so many have come up with the conclusions I thought I had.

Please continue and maybe there is a member of the Education board who reads this and realises that our kids need their childhoods



7th Dec 2004, 11:48
...and another thing

Schools (in the UK at least - don't know about the rest of the world) are measured at how good they are by where they stand in league tables.

These are put together using fairly narrow criteria which depends on it's pupils sucess in exams.

They do not take into accout how good the school is at teaching social skills, running after school clubs, having sports teams out every night of the week (and at week ends), how nice or how bad the teachers are, whether the school is in a 'posh' area or inner city.

All of my daughters went to the same secondary school which was nowhere near the top of the league table. You would not choose it based on league table position! It did, however, produce large numbers of fairly motivated & polite pupils. Some of the pupils have played for county in sports and have given music recitals all around the world; there's an international debating society involving travel to (and genuinely mixing with pupils from) other countries. It did not overburden on homework but did stretch the kids. The school tried (and I assume it still does) hard to encourage children not to be 'rocket scientists'* but to gain skills for adulthood.

Still it always got a poor write up because of it's lack of academic sucess!

Always felt sorry for the head - on a hiding to nothing in the county education arena but well thought of by the parents and pupils.


*nothing wrong with rocket scientists before someone bites me...

tall and tasty
8th Dec 2004, 10:50
Mike Jenvey

I does sound like prison and I guess as I went to an institution for young ladies I felt the same values were good for them. Boy was I wrong!

I talked to the eldest last night and after the floods of tears not sure if put on or not alot came out that will be addressed to the governors in the school policy and the way things are handled such as bulley etc.

It seems that the lovely friendly school she started years ago has changed into something I am not happy with league tables seem to be pushing the care and teaching to the extreme.

The conclusion is to move for the sake of the children's well being and prospectus applications are in the post.

Thanks everyone who took the time to post their replies


Biggles Flies Undone
8th Dec 2004, 11:01
I think there are two fundamental faults with the current state system.

League tables. This is why primary school kids now get homework and why teachers continually bang on about key stages and performance targets. It encourages narrow targets and prevents a well-rounded education.

Focus on non-competitive sport. This is pure lunacy inspired by bloody political correctness. When the kids leave school they quickly find out that itís a VERY competitive world out here!

Iím pretty suspicious of the efficacy of the OFSTED inspections as well.

8th Dec 2004, 16:40

Sorry for the delay but we've had a bit of a family crisis to deal with. Anyway from what you said in your original post I wanted to check with MadsMum (who works for the local education authority) what rights you might have to contest any punishment your daughter got that you might consider excessive (like detention at 8 years old).

Firstly the school should have a published policy on homework (how much is expected) and on punishments for whatever infractions committed (and on anything else come to that; whatever done should be covered by a written statement).

If you disagree with any punishment awarded by a teacher you have the right of appeal to the head teacher.
If you disagree with the result of such an appeal (or with a punishment awarded by the head teacher) you can appeal to the board of governors.
Finally if you disagree with this you can appeal to the LEA against the punishment (although I would have hoped it would have been settled long before that).

That is the formal procedure - normally things get sorted out much further up the chain.

The above applies to state schools only, private schools set their own rules.

Edited to add. As I said above the school will have wriiten policies on the various areas (discipline, bullying etc.). If you disagree with any of the policies you should first contact the head teacher then, if agreement cannot be reached, the governors etc. If you do write to the board of governors about anything the matter must be raised at a full meeting of the board - it cannot by then be settled by a letter from the chair or suchlike.

tall and tasty
8th Dec 2004, 19:34

Thanks for that I have arranged to see the headmaster regarding some views I think are a little drastic for the younger part of the school. I think they may forget the 8yr olds do not need to be punished in the same way a 13yr old may need to be.

I have checked the school guidelines on bullying and they are set as standard but I feel may not be dealt with as specified.

Thanks again


Vlad the Impaler
8th Dec 2004, 20:04
Back to the original question.
I think kids do grow up much too fast these days. My kids are so much more worldy wise than I was at their ages. Whilst in one sense that is a good think in todays world, I do think that childhood innocence is now strictly the preserve of the toddler and that is sad. When I was 8 or 9 I spent all day every day out on my bike (unless I was at school of course). Never a thought for being abducted and abused, or for a bloody mobile phone (what was one of those). I took my pocket money to the shop and bought a mars bar and a comic and was happy, because I didn't know any better. With 24Hr a day dross on the telly constantly bombarding kids with images of what life could be like if only they had x,y or z they stand no chance. To them, everything that glitters IS gold. Bring back the days when BBC 2 had a test card in the middle of the afternoon..........channel 4 ? hey ?
I fear for my children modern society and so all I can do is what any parent can do. Look after them where you can and try to guide through the maze in front of them as best as possible. And, er, dont let them have bloody phones !!!!!!!!


8th Dec 2004, 20:13
Yeah the English Education System (& it ain't alone)

Try to get a hold on any of the moves and shakers who run the system and it would be easier to contact the pope himself. They spend their whole time running around to meetings, they must have meetings about meetings. :rolleyes:

The're like a cat on a hot tin roof rushing around from one meeting to the next no doubt feeling mighty important bringing in yet another strategy with all its fancy related words. Trouble is much of the English Education System seems to be in a mess as always with few children choosing to continue onto A levels except for an elite few.

Anything that destroys the love of learning as much formal education seems to do is a soul destroying traversty. If I had a child personally I'd prefer to educate them at home if I was able for it rather than subject them to the often soul destroying, fearful, conformist, over structured, joyless mincemeat maker of formal education. That way I'd know how they were being treated from day to day rather than leaving them in the hands of strangers and above all that they were happy and enjoyed learning and would continue to do so after their school days rather than viewing it as a chore to be ditched soon as they get old enough to escape the drugery of the kill joy system. Whoever coined the phrase "school days are the best days of your life" needed their head examined IMHO.

All in all you're just another brick in the wall.... (Pink Floyd)

Children will be long enough adults without trying to rush head long into it before their time.

T & T

Best of luck with your little one and if I were you I'd have a word with the teacher.

8th Dec 2004, 21:06
All the children I've known which have all gone 'off the rails' have lacked at least one of these criteria. ( freedom, respect and responsibility )

Navajo, never looked at it quite that way. But reading that, I had a quick run through in my mind of the kids I know who have derailed, and you're so spot on!

Teaching kids respect and responsibility in a society which doesn't appear to value these things is hard going I have found. A constant bombardment by the media showing the 'fun' in a life devoid of taking responsibilities, and the 'ok-ness' of not showing other people respect has often made me feel like a person shouting into the wind. Good effort, little result.

TnT, don't know yet how ours will turn out, so for what it's worth:
1)Do what you feel is right for your kids and don't let anybody persuade you to go against your own instincts. However bossy or 'morally right' others appear.
2)Set high standards for behaviour now that they are young. That way, when they start rebelling as teenagers, (which they will) they will already feel very daring doing things that really aren't bad but which they 'know' are frowned upon at home. ;)
3)Give them as much freedom as you can in matters like friendships, dress and later boyfriends and sex. It's their life and what they are allowed to do at home they don't need to do secretly. Even *bad friends* are more easily monitored in your house that out on the streets.
4) Stand up for your kids. Take no [email protected] from anybody, school included. As long as you have made sure that the child has told you the truth, fight like a lion. There are far more idiots involved in schools and sport clubs that you would hope for as a parent, and all kids need someone to look out for them against these individuals.
5) Again, trust your own instincts. Looking back, I should have listened far less to 'people who know'.
6) Spend time with them. Nothing more important than that.

9th Dec 2004, 07:30
I cannot comment on the English school system, but I'm glad that the PC brigade isn't that strong on this side of the Channel, they still play competitive sports in French schools (old PProoners might remember myself reporting little Bre#1's broken collarbone).

Navajo and Flaps
:ok: :ok: You said it much better than I would.
[apologies for the me-too-ism]

tall and tasty
9th Dec 2004, 07:59
Hi everyone

Thanks for all the extra input into the thread.

Flaps I agree with what you have said and I am a mother who will stand up to my kids no matter what the picture the school paint. They know they don't tell lies about things it is not worth it so I believe what they tell me (but if there is doubt I will get to the truth)

But saying that I hope they will turn out well balanced adults and just allow them to have that proper childhood they deserve


My names Turkish
9th Dec 2004, 11:40

All you can ever do is 'do your best' - freedom, respect and responsibility are things that children actually understand. All the children I've known which have all gone 'off the rails' have lacked at least one of these criteria.

I thought that was very profound. I have copied that and saved it for further reference. Spot on IMHO

9th Dec 2004, 18:27
What does stand out is those parents that do acknowledge resposibility for the upbringing of their children coupled with the desire for some decent standards to be attained by them.
Sadly though too many parents these days feel it is the responsibility of the state, schools, council, in fact anybody else but themselves to bring up, educate, and teach their children what is required of them to fit into society as fuctional responsible and productive members who will contribute in a meaningful and constructive way. Consequently with the ever lowering standards and increasingly politicaly correct and noncompetative pap which is now being churned out by so many state schools, we are seeing more and more single mothers and children who have been brought up by families whose only means of support is state wellfare. And if it is the only life they have ever know how can one blame them.
It was instructive to see that heading the recent countrywide pimary eduction league tables in almost every area, the church run schools who have refused to compromise on standards and values head the lists. I wonder why?