issue: play



Friday 16 October 2015


Tick-box policy won’t raise free-range kids

A report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on ‘a fit and healthy childhood’ encourages adults to let children engage in more risky activities. But sadly the dozens of recommendations and interventions contained within the report risk further encouraging a tick-box approach to raising children.

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Friday 21 August 2015


The myth of England’s miserable kids

The Children’s Society’s latest report relies on nonsense measures and meaningless stats.

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Monday 4 November 2013


Giving sibling rivalry a bad name

The anti-bullying industry has now turned its attentions to brothers and sisters.

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Friday 10 May 2013


What’s worse than bullying? Anti-bullying intervention

Emily Bazelon’s new book makes a powerful, eloquent case against too much adult meddling in children’s spats and scraps.

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Thursday 10 January 2013


Does watching TV give you cancer? Of course not

News reports claiming that TV-addicted kids risk getting cancer confirm that the scaremongers mean business in 2013. It’s time to fight back.

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Thursday 24 November 2011


Anti-bullying campaigns: doing more harm than good?

ESSAY: Of course extreme cases of bullying should be tackled, but let’s not pathologise normal childhood relationships.

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Thursday 27 May 2010


Sorry, but it can be GOOD for children to be bullied

Daily Mail

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Monday 1 March 2010


The myth of racist kids

The problem with anti-bullying and anti-racist policies

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Friday 26 February 2010


Racialising the playground

A brave new book challenges the introduction of anti-racist policies in British schools, arguing that they blow everyday spats out of proportion and split kids along ethnic lines.

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Tuesday 4 August 2009


Let the Children Play

Adults’ fears and mistrust are the reason our youngsters can no longer enjoy free-roaming summer holidays, says Helene Guldberg in The Independent

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Wednesday 29 July 2009


Bullying the public

The latest NSPCC/ChildLine initiative on bullied children presents both adults and kids as toxic beings.

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Friday 24 April 2009


It’s time to move beyond the nature/nurture divide

In advising parents to ignore hectoring experts, Judith Rich Harris’s book still packs a punch 10 years on. But its use of evolutionary theory and social psychology to explain how people are ‘shaped’ leaves much to be desired.

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Monday 2 February 2009


The mother of all interventions

We should roundly reject the new UK report which argues that time-stretched parents are producing damaged children.

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Monday 17 November 2008


Don’t outlaw boisterous
banter in the playground

As Britain launches another Anti-Bullying Week, the author of Reclaiming Childhood says demonising teasing can do more harm than good.

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Wednesday 6 August 2008


Don't blame parents for
'cotton-wool kids'

Today is Playday, a celebration of children’s ‘right to play’ - and an ideal time to have a kickabout with the culture of fear that imprisons our kids.

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Thursday 3 January 2008


Shooting down the feminist Thought Police?

The UK government says adults should chill out and let boys play with toy guns. But who made us so uptight about kids’ play in the first place?

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Wednesday 14 November 2007


A playground tumble can do you good

More experts recognise that a scraped knee can be a positive experience for a child. Let’s hope they now relax about other ‘dangers’ in kids’ lives.

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Friday 24 August 2007


A childish panic about the next generation

Many of those fretting over the state of contemporary childhood, concerned that kids are passive, cooped up and sedentary, are motivated by naked nostalgia - sometimes even by snobbery.

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Monday 11 June 2007


Are children being held hostage by parental fears?

A new report calls on parents to let their kids venture out unsupervised. That might be easier if scaremongering officials put a sock in it.

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Monday 19 March 2007


A tick-box attitude to toddlers

When even infants are expected to achieve ‘69 early learning goals’, you know that no area of life is free from New Labour’s tyranny of targets.

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Friday 17 November 2006


Back to skool

When officials offer parents lessons in singing nursery rhymes, it’s no wonder some are losing confidence in their abilities.

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