children in our world…

I have long been wanting to talk about children, and with Christmas just over it seems a good time. I know it would be better to talk about goals or reviewing the year, but I have a bee in my bonnet at the moment. Children appear to have become a mere commodity in our world today and that annoys me!

I think that the lead up to Christmas really crystallized it in the advertising and junk mail, but for some time I have wondered about how we value children in this modern world. There is an unwritten rule about people’s value being driven by their “contribution to GDP”, i.e. the more you earn, the more valuable you appear to be. Of course, everyone denies this when confronted with the idea…but the truth is reflected in how we treat others. For example, should a rich person be mugged, it makes news. Should Mr-Ordinary-Down-The-Road be mugged, no one takes notice. Children don’t contribute to GDP largely because they don’t yet work. However, as parents of children do work, it seems companies treat children as a commodity.

Children are traded on, used as pawns in the advertising game, and unless they are going to help with spending money, largely ignored. People who spend the most amount of time with children – parents, carers, childcare workers and teachers – are undervalued, sometimes even devalued. A mother that chooses to stay at home with her child should NOT have to feel that she needs to apologize at a networking function, “I am just a Mum”. She is doing a crucial job, helping our society become the future we want! Again, because we don’t value children, we fail to value those who care for them.

So, the challenge is out there for us…let you and I start treating children as valuable in themselves, let’s encourage them, promote them and protect them.

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