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Archbishop of Canterbury - anyone else insensed?!

(15 Posts)
Bramshott Thu 14-Apr-05 13:49:32

Not quite sure what to make of the Archbishop of Canterbury's comments in the Times that: "Toddlers and babies were being shunted off to nurseries and day care or being plonked in front of videos so that their parents could get on with their own concerns, causing abuse by neglect, he said. A culture of work was contributing to the neglect of the family, by ignoring the requisites for creating stable and secure environments."

Clearly don't know the background to the speech and whether he's being quoted out of context . . . Have always quite supported his views (eg. on Iraq war) before, but feel rather insensed if what he's saying is that every time I pop DD in front of the TV for 20 mins so I can clear up the kitchen, or make a work phone call, I am guilty of child abuse!

Lonelymum Thu 14-Apr-05 13:54:17

No I think 20 minutes is fine, but there are some people who do it for a lot longer than that. The house at the back of ours has a small child and I can see right in to their front room and the TV is permanently on!

welshmum Thu 14-Apr-05 13:56:53

Don't think he's thinking of 20 mins Bramshott. I'd give him the benefit of the doubt.
He's got a young family so I guess he knows the value of Roly Mo himself

Bramshott Thu 14-Apr-05 13:59:07

Phew! I am relieved, and will review my opinions! How would I cope without Roly Mo?!

wild Thu 14-Apr-05 14:01:40

nurseries or daycare tho!
getting on with own concerns ie like earning a living etc
cheeky vicar

roisin Thu 14-Apr-05 14:01:48

I thought it was a great article actually. Some interesting stuff in there about testing in schools, advertising and the "haste to consumerise and sexualise childhood".

Also:
Dr Williams said: "If we want to give children time to experience childhood as they should, experiencing it as a time to learn, play, grow in an environment of stability and security, we have to face the demands of being adults ourselves. We have to accept that growing up is about taking on the task of forming other human lives."

He wasn't criticising someone who pops a video on whilst they get on with their chores; but rather people who don't take responsibility for their children, and instead seek to satisfy their own desires first.

Hang on, I'll see if I can do a link.

roisin Thu 14-Apr-05 14:07:20

the article in question is here

ruty Fri 15-Apr-05 13:01:25

have to say i agree with him. and also sure he's not criticising value of roly mo or teletubbies. 'culture of work' a difficult one tho. Fine line between ambition [selfish?] and desire to provide more for your children.

WideWebWitch Fri 15-Apr-05 13:04:30

I agree roisin, I agree with a lot of what he says.

WideWebWitch Fri 15-Apr-05 13:05:32

Not sure about this though:

"Dr Williams has two school-age children with his wife, Jane, a theologian who no longer works (my italics) but used to lecture in Bristol for two days a week."

Hmm, I bet she isn't just sitting down all day though!

Hausfrau Fri 15-Apr-05 13:06:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WideWebWitch Fri 15-Apr-05 13:08:08

OK Hausfrau, here you go, copied and pasted:

Grow up if only for your children's sake, Archbishop urges
By Ruth Gledhill
Rowan Williams accuses Britain of abusing youth by default

AN OBSESSION with testing in schools, and parents who leave children in front of videos so they can get on with their own concerns, were condemned by the Archbishop of Canterbury yesterday.
Dr Rowan Williams criticised the “malign” obsession with school tests and called for the British people to grow up. Otherwise Britain was in danger of becoming a society of infantilised adults who abuse their children by default, he said. “When adults stop being infants, children can be children,” he added.



Toddlers and babies were being shunted off to nurseries and day care or being plonked in front of videos so that their parents could get on with their own concerns, causing abuse by neglect, he said.

A culture of work was contributing to the neglect of the family, by ignoring the requisites for creating stable and secure environments.

Meanwhile, society was consumed by a “culture of gossip and rhetoric and apathy”.

“We live in a debased environment of gossip-inflicted rhetoric, non-participation, celebrity obsession and vacuous aspiration,” Dr Williams said.

In this environment, the “haste to consumerise and sexualise childhood” had become more and more hectic. Some “very, very tough” questions needed to be asked about children and advertising.

The need for a regulatory regime for advertisements aimed at children had to be addressed with urgency, he said.

Attacking the programme of testing in schools, Dr Williams said: “We ought to be educating in emotional and communicative literacy as well as other kinds of literacy.

“The clamour for results that sometimes comes up in our discussions of education can be a kind of displacement.

“We know we cannot cope with educating persons so at least let’s have a full balance sheet of skills acquired and tests satisfied.”

His speech, delivered at the People’s Palace at Queen Mary, part of London University, in East London, was at a meeting organised by the Citizen Organising Foundation, a group of Christian and Muslim clergy and congregations, community leaders, parents, shop stewards and teachers.

His address represented his concern that adults should take responsibility for themselves and assess the society around them with greater awareness of the needs of young children and adolescents.

Dr Williams said: “Childhood is most positively valued and fostered when we resist infantilism. When adults stop being infants, children can be children.

“We want to see a society that is composed of adults, people who can choose and act and change, who can hope, who can make a difference, who can be sorry when they fail, who can empathise, who can continue learning.

“It does not happen by accident. If we go on producing grown-up infants we can hardly wonder why different sorts of violence and dysfunction persist in our society.”
Dr Williams has two school-age children with his wife, Jane, a theologian who no longer works but used to lecture in Bristol for two days a week.



The couple juggled their commitments to ensure that there was always one of them at home. They also had some additional help.

Dr Williams said: “If we want to give children time to experience childhood as they should, experiencing it as a time to learn, play, grow in an environment of stability and security, we have to face the demands of being adults ourselves. We have to accept that growing up is about taking on the task of forming other human lives.”

Dr Williams was speaking after a hectic few days of his own. He had attended the funeral of the Pope in Rome and then conducted the service of prayer and dedication for the newly married Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Marina Fri 15-Apr-05 13:11:10

Hats off to them both for being able to reorganise their workloads so one parent was at home always, that's a good ideal to aim for. Of course, it helps if you are a member of the clergy without a mortgage to fund. I do agree with a lot of what he says, and rate Rowan Williams very highly as our best Archbishop of Canterbury for many years, but when I put our children into nursery it was not for selfish reasons but to pay my required 50% share of our family housing and household costs.

Hausfrau Fri 15-Apr-05 13:14:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FairyMum Fri 15-Apr-05 13:16:11

I agree with a lot of what he is saying and also rate him highly. I disagree with what he is saying about nurseries. I think they are great for children and if anything children in nursery probably watch a lot less telly!
One of my main reasons to work is so that my children can go to good nurseries!

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