I’ve long been an advocate of limiting the amount of screen time children have. I accept screen time is a fact of life, but I want it balanced and to my children are undertaking physical activities, ideally outside, in addition to spending sensible amounts of time with screens. I also think too much screen time can have a negative impact on children’s behaviour and the results of a survey from kitchen appliance manufacture Beko provides further evidence this is correct.
If I were to think of areas of my life where I’ve seen major advances in technology, checking a child’s temperature is not one that immediately springs to mind. Within my lifetime, however, things have changed hugely and a new product has entered this sphere: The Nurofen for Children FeverSmart.
Just how much should we share images of our children on social media? When does it become too much? When does it appear boastful and when does it become a risk to our children’s health and wellbeing? What sort of digital footprint does this leave them?
These are points I’ve been pondering over the past couple of days, ever since Nominet issued the results of a survey into parents and their social media habits. The survey, carried out by The Parent Zone as part of Nominet’s Knowthenet web safety campaign, found that a child’s image will have appeared online 973 times by the time they reach their fifth birthday. View Post
I always try and keep my children entertained outside for as long as possible. I do this partly to encourage my family to lead a healthy lifestyle, but also because it’s considerably easier to keep the house tidy when the kids play outside.
Although I try my best, I recognise that I could do more to keep the kids active. Help has come from the most unlikely of sources; the World Cancer Research Fund, which has launched a campaign called the Move More Challenge (hashtag; #MoveMoreChallenge). View Post
Some months back I wrote about positive body image and what fathers could do to promote it in their children. It’s always great to receive feedback on the things you write and so I was very pleased to be contacted by Stephanie Rosillio who, amongst other things, is the co-founder of Be Real Talks.
If you haven’t heard of Be Real Talks, the first event took place in London in June. It was a sell-out and the theme was “why size doesn’t matter, explode the beauty and diet myths.”
I confess I wasn’t there, but it was marketed as a “feel good” event that was a cross “between a theatre experience and comedy club with a funky workshop element.” In other words, it wasn’t a formal lecture.
Speakers at the event came from a diverse range of backgrounds; comedian Deborah France, performance poet Hollie McNish and Dr Linda Papadopoulos, a psychologist who is famed for speaking out against the practice of airbrushing were among those who took part. A second event is on the horizon, but more about that in just a moment.
With two young daughters, the issue of positive body image is one that’s particularly close to my heart. I have real concerns about increasing misogyny in the media and the pressure my children will face to confirm to some unachievable ideal. It’s an area where, sadly, I feel society is moving backwards not forwards.
Needless to say, this isn’t an issue that solely affects girls and women. Men are increasingly having body confidence issues and this is something that can’t be ignored.
As I said, a second event is on the horizon. The Be Real team is keen to hear of the experiences of parents, particularly fathers:
· If you’re a father, what do you do to promote positive body image among your children?
· If you’re a mother, does your partner do anything to address this issue? If not, why do you think that is?
· As a father, what are your concerns about positive body image and do you think your children are under pressure to confirm to certain ideals?
· Have you heard of any examples of your children coming under pressure to look a certain way?
Please leave a comment below and keep an eye on the Be Real website for more information about the next talk.I’ll say no more, but there may be plans afoot to get one or two men involved in the next event.
Before signing off I’m going to leave you with one final thought; there are more regulations governing how you can airbrush a car in an advertisement than a human being. That Toyota’s headlights; airbrush at your peril but that woman’s breasts; do your worst. It’s a shocking fact but sadly one that doesn’t surprise me.