About Alison

A feisty mother earth type, who has an opinion about everything I would like to think I use my "chopsy" attitude to throw some light and perhaps a new slant on current social and cultural issues.

Since I moved to the country for a quiet life I have been lucky enough to create a more healthy more relaxed environment for myself. I love country life, Family, Friends, Horses and Dogs. I also love, photography, writing/chatting and connecting with others.

Please have a look at a collection of my photos blog,


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which follows my efforts to learn to ride and care for horses in my 50s! or just follow me on Twitter and I will follow you back (if you are a real person) on @alisonbarton1. Enjoy and talk to me.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Are we raising a batch of soft boiled eggs?

Perfect Soft Boiled Eggs. Photo by Diana #2

A lot of criticism is hurled at parents today, it’s a job that requires a hard hat and a thick skin. Because whichever way you turn you do the wrong thing.

For as many variations of families there are, there are styles of parenting. Some people are just not capable or cut out to be parents, some are absolutely fabulous Most of us juggle like crazy in the hope we bring up our children to be safe, happy and accomplished.

It’s true that for quite a lot of today’s parents a good education including extra curricular activities is promoted and provided for their children. However how this is negotiated and actually managed requires logistical capabilities an air traffic controller would be proud of. Because of time constraints and worries about safety, children are taken door to door usually in a car sometimes parents share this to ease the load. But there is no effort required of children, as to where they are going, when they have to be there and what they need to take. These activities are expensive and its much easier for parents to sort all that stuff out, they don’t want little Johnny missing his flute lesson because he left it at home.

So we all know about the taxi service mentality for the children but can it be a bad thing? In a time of “stranger danger”, busy roads and inclement weather.

Parents stand at the touch line of sports fields up and down the country shouting their support. Isn’t that a good thing, interested participating parents?  Their presence is intended to Reinforce high self esteem and give reassurance. We all want our children to believe in themselves and feel good don’t we? There can be dangers in these environments too we need to monitor. After all we know now that churches, sports fields and scout huts can be magnets for sexual predators who seek to groom children with the intent to abuse them. Some parents worry that coaches and other children can if left unsupervised bully or overlook their children.

Then parents who worry about all these external risks relax about providing stimulation, through the use of the latest technology in the safety of their own home. Unfortunately sometimes the youngster’s knowledge of what’s on offer and how to fully exploit the games and computers in their hands far outweighs that of the grown ups and on many occasions activities can be far from, educational, wholesome or safe.

So outside of the home, we carry our children round in a virtual bubble not allowing them to experience things on their own with real people, everything is done for them and any effort no matter how small is praised and any failing pushed to one side or blamed on someone else. We tell them to ignore negativity and take them away from challenges that upset them. Pushing a child into an unpleasant situation is too much trouble anyway.

We encourage use of technology in the safety of our own home and let our guard down because we have security software on the computer. Our children communicate with   “friends” They play games  send photos or images of themselves via the web cam talk live, but when they get bored they switch off they don’t have to show any courtesies., or compromise their way with anyone else’s.  Then there is the possibility that they engage with a new “friend” online and want to take the relationship into the real world and arrange to meet up. How equipped are they?

With our zealous protectionist stance do we make them secretive, eager to shake us off? Worst still do we protect them so much they never feel the jeopardy of their surroundings, feeling totally safe and “bullet proof”  

Lets face it in a blink of an eye they will be 18 (yes really that old) and planning their gap year backpacking around Australia, India, Brazil or Thailand. Are we going to carry their bag? No, so at some point we have to let them get a “bloody nose”  and feel the heat so they can toughen up ready to stand on their own two feet recognise risks around them out there and on the internet. Just hope we can all get it right.

Alison x

1 comment:

  1. Planning the backpacking thing for mine in 6 years is frighteningly scary, I have to say.


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Alison xx