Children “failed on grand scale” according to the British Medical Association

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The BMA’s report (according to the BBC News) “Growing Up in the UK” “highlighted issues such as obesity and foetal alcohol syndrome (babies who are born with disabilities due to the mother’s drinking)” .  The report also mentioned the need for “parenting classes, improving maternal nutrition and targeting children born in households with unhealthy habits, such as smoking, drug use and alcohol abuse”.

Wow!  How far back have we slid!!!    We are supposed to be a civilised Society but the report (or the bits highlighted by the BBC News) makes it clear that we seem to be going backwards in terms of caring for our children.

However haven’t we also failed ourselves?   As a counsellor I can see on a weekly basis the results of how we are failing not only ourselves but our children and each other.  We become stressed, depressed, obsessed and more besides.  We over indulge and we don’t divulge.  We indirectly communicate and we make screw ourselves up emotionally.  And these are just some of the reasons people find their way to my door!   So, all in all, it seems that we are in a pretty bad way as a Society.

The article interested me for various reasons but in particular its comments regarding parenting which I would like to comment on.  Not every parent is a Saint or a Sinner.  Some of us just do the best we can with what we can.  If we look at one of the main issues that haunt our children today – alcohol and drugs.  Often child fall into them not because of problems at home and a bad family life but because of the Society we live in.  It is actually far harder for a child to not touch drugs or alcohol than it is for them to go with peer pressure and try them.

Some might like to tell the mother who’s son killed himself because he couldn’t climb his way out of his own hell that she failed him; or the many parents who have seen their child turn from happy youngster to a thug who will rob them, hold them hostage, threaten them with knives (and worse) that they failed them; or the siblings who have to watch from the sidelines while their family life is destroyed that they were being selfish and failed their brother or sister – but in most cases it would not be true.  Unless you hear the harrowing stories of the children and their parents, who Society and not the parents have failed, you might be forgiven in believing the hype that the parents were responsible.   But whilst in some cases some parents might be responsible for some issues.  In many, many more cases “good” children from “good” stable homes put themselves at risk and despite all the well intentioned interventions many do not recover and go on to lead really horrible and sad lives, if they live at all!   Dramatic – yes but True.

As a Society this is all our problems because if addiction hasn’t touched your family yet, unfortunately, it probably will at some time.  As a society we have to see what is going on with our eyes and not as one person told me in my local area in Sussex that “we don’t have that sort of thing here, this is a respectable area”.  Addiction of our children is everywhere. Lets open our eyes, speak with our voices and march with our feet and then maybe, just maybe we might not fail the generations to come.

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