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What is a child at risk?
"Children are fine, it's adults who are screwed up." Sociologist and author Frank Furedi puts forward the challenge that it is a mistake to ascribe to children a vulnerability greater than our own...
Theo Van K on 03/08/2012 5:37pm
In fact I don't think that Prof. Furedi goes far enough on this one. Children, though their minds may well be in a more malleable stage, are in many ways even less vulnerable than we adults. They can adapt and change, and have the greatest power to learn, grow and... forget.
Once old and rigid, we cannot forget even the smallest slight that hits a nerve grown taut over the decades. Emotionally, far less capable of dealing with e.g. bullying, now.
What to do about it? I too think - have faith in children and they'll respond accordingly.
The Inquisitor on 06/03/2012 10:39am
The trouble with trying to define "childhood" is that you can't successfully apply a universal model to a mass of difference. So you can't say that all children are more resilient than we give them credit for, because some probably aren't, and you can't say that mental trauma in children doesn't make for mentally troubled adults, because clearly in some instances it does. "Childhood" is fine all time it's just a lyrical romantic ideal, but the minute you begin to try and use that idealised image as a way of behaving in practice, that's when you risk maltreating individual cases through adherence to a "norm". There can be no norm, that's what it boils down to.
mediatrixy on 05/03/2012 10:48am
Childhood was "invented" by William Blake and sentimentalised by the Victorians. As developements in medicine meant that lives could be more easily saved, the first five years of a child's life were no longer the most dangerous. Lives became precious, childhood became sacrosanct. We are now the slowest developing animals in the world, and our childhoods extend exponentially, with lack of experience and innocence becoming tawdry excuses for not taking responsibility. we need a careful eye to avoid serious cases of abuse, yes, but we also need to stop allowing children to rely on their "youth" well into their twenties and thirties.
Lily Stevens on 02/03/2012 3:31pm
With cases like babr P still happening, surely being aware of the vulnerability of children is the least we can do...
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