Archives for posts with tag: society

blackerI watched this brilliant documentary by Molly Dineen, last night and was sad to see more evidence of a child being failed by the system in the UK, but interestingly he was descibed as excelling in a new school in Jamaica. Blacker’s son was in a situation where the school was telling his parents that he wasn’t suited to a school environment, and he had ADHD. Then they took him to Jamaica and suddenly he is an “A” student.

When I started out trying to make a film about home education, I kept hearing over and over again from people who had been totally failed by the school system, and try as I might to keep my sights set on home education I kept being pulled to document how hard it is to get on in school if you are in any way “different”.

It is complicated, as now we know the impact ACE‘s can have on a person’s life, so we can think it all happens at home, but the effects on children in the school system of repeated detrimental treatment makes some children give up learning for life. And that costs a lot, further down the line.

I once got involved in making a short film, which sadly never found funding, to describe exactly how this plays out in the UK. It was called The True Cost, and it explained how the criminal justice system, social care and mental health services are battling to cope with an epidemic of crime, family breakdown, challenging behaviour and mental illness, with bills that reach into the realm of billions – like £70 billion at least (and these are old figures). They then set out to descibe how these costs could be reduced hugely by investing money right at the start of a child’s life, by helping their mothers first, and then their fathers and supporting them to create a family, which they may have no idea of as they havent been modelled it. This costs under £5,000 per family.

It’s an old idea, and one which isn’t popular in parliament, but I can’t understand why. Post-natal depression affects mothers from all social backgrounds, so why should anyone discriminate as to who needs help in the babyhood years? Surely if everyone was supported it would only take a generation to help the percentage of children growing up with secure emotional attachment become the well adjusted adults of the future who help to build the loving communities and societies we need?

As International Woman’s day passes, I am thinking about what the experience of being a male in this world is like right now. My son asked me is there a Men’s day? I said no. And I thought it was because so much of the stuff that happens in the world is because of decisions men make, and women are only just being able to join that conversation as equals, now. And then I stop and imagine what that feels like to him. It’s not his fault that some men have tried to dominate women for so long. It’s not his fault that once upon a time some men felt threatened and scared by the power women had in their ability to grow babies inside them. Hollie McNish’s poem that we used in Babyhood about how her partner stood with her as she birthed her baby, telling her to “shout about her achievement that day”, proves to me that there are men who gladly take on the role of equal humans.

I hope for my son’s that they grow up feeling that it’s not all on them to manage their lives but they can rely on the strength of the women around them too. We have got into a position where sexism is so prevalent that we don’t consider how damaging it is for the little people in our lives. My boys know its ok to cry and rage and scream and feel, and I am proud that they are able to do this without considering what anyone might think, that will come in time but for now, I embrace every emotion they show me, and rejoice in their freedom…while modelling self-care 😉

Maybe one day we can hope for an International Men’s Day to celebrate the men who stand side to side with us women seeing the world as we do and championing the need for our balance.



I stumbled across this the other day and loved this presentation from a 12yr old on the state of education…look at what our children are capable of given the chance to love learning! I hope my boys will appreciate the time and thought i am giving to their early learning experiences…only time will tell!

Bloggers Unite to Humanize Babies

The US has some of the highest rates of depression, anxiety, cancer, and other diseases in the world. Every year our government puts billions of dollars into funding programs that attempt to address these issues. The efforts are consistently ineffective. We are the leaders of the free world and we must remain healthy to stay that way.

There is a cost-free, efficient, and fulfilling way to heal our nation. This simple change requires no permission, program, or rhetoric, and it can start with you, today. By listening to our babies and accepting that their needs must be met, we can reduce disease and promote healthy members of society.

If you are skeptical, we understand. So for one week in July, a group of knowledgeable and respected bloggers are coming together to share how listening to our babies can heal our nation.

We invite you to join us in learning how to raise healthier children. We do not promise it will be easy- at times it will be difficult to hear what is being said. The United States of America has never shied away from the difficult, though. Instead, we choose to do the right things “not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” (John F. Kennedy)

“Listen To Our Babies, Heal Our Nation” agrees that meeting the needs of our babies is the most patriotic thing we can do for our country.

Babyhood is screening as part of this festival at 9 -10 pm EST on Thursday 5th July 2012

And then at 10-11 PM  EST there is a Q&A with me on Our Muddy Boots’s Facebook Page

*Organizer Contribution:  Amy Brown of Zen Parenting

“Listen to Our Babies, Heal Our Nation” Bloggers unify to humanize babies.