It Takes A Village

Think that’s shocking?

Barnardo’s released a report called Break The Cycle today.  The research conducted by YouGov shows that:

  • just under half (49%) of people believe that children are increasingly a danger to each other and adults
  • 43% agree something has to be done to protect us from children
  • 45% think that children are feral in the way they behave.

A survey conducted amongst Barnardo’s young people – just over half of whom have been in trouble – found that most of them thought that young people get into trouble because of boredom and peer pressure.

Of the 393 youngsters, aged between 10 and 23:

  • 44% said bad behaviour is encouraged when the media portrays their peers as misbehaving
  • 84% said young people get into trouble because of boredom
  • 88% said having more things to do and places to go might stop young people getting into trouble
  • 32% would go to friends for help if they were in trouble

This report reminded me of a couple of things.

The first is that very wise saying ‘It takes a village to raise a child’.  Children are not aliens. They don’t materialise on the streets from outer space.  They are ours.  Our children, grandchildren, cousins, newphews and nieces and friends.

The Scottish Children’s Commissioner found last year that 64% of adults would like to volunteer to work with children and young people but only 5% actually do.

The blame, if there is any blame to be had, is squarely with us, adults.  We ignore our children.  We leave them to do what they please because it suits us.  We don’t get involved with them.  We don’t provide clubs, organisations, sports, art, music or education because we can’t be bothered.  We’d rather watch tv and complain.

It takes a village to raise a child means that the whole of society is responsible.  We all need to take an interest, provide opportunities, volunteer.  Not someone else, you.  We’re happy to drop our kids off at clubs and organisations and Sunday School but how many of us offer to help out?

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