From the way that parents are cajoling their children with trendy new trainers, it’s evident that they’re caring parents and that they want the best for their children, but now parents are having concerns about the development of their children.
However, children are so far behind that they don’t even know what a full stop is, and some children have become so clingy that parents are having to send them to school with a dummy to keep them subdued.
Once, dummies were the preserve of infants who would be weaned off them during the toddler years, but now they, along with nappies, bottles and other paraphernalia of infancy, are increasingly a feature of the nation’s reception classes, and even beyond, and it’s a graphic illustration of the catastrophic impact the pandemic has had on the cohort of babies and young children born just before and during COVID, and the effects are now only really emerging as they join education.
Now teachers are in no doubt that children are coming to school less prepared than ever before.
Once, most four-year-olds were toilet trained and could, with help, get dressed, feed themselves and possibly even make a fist of writing their name or basic numbers.
Now the Education Endowment Foundation says that considerable numbers of four and five-year-olds have speech and language problems, a problem with social interaction and confidence and delays in walking.
Before lockdown, nearly half the year group weren’t prepared for school, but now it’s more like 80 to 90 per cent that arrives in a pushchair, dummy in the mouth and wearing nappies, unable to take their coat off or unable to eat with a spoon.
Shockingly, one head teacher told a recent education commission of a mother who pushed her son to school in a shopping trolley, and no doubt that during the pandemic he was at home shut away, tablet no doubt firmly in his hand and thus had failed to develop the muscle tone to run around.
And some children have been so isolated that they adopt the funny voices of the cartoon characters they endlessly watch.
Children aren’t being potty trained, and it’s okay when dealing with one child but it’s a catastrophe when it’s all 30 children, which then takes away teaching time for the entire class, and a teacher confessed that they see all manner of things in the children’s pants, soiled nappies, or even sanitary pads as makeshift nappies.
It’s not just the most impoverished but the most slothful families’ that are now parenting badly, and if a child is going to school still wearing a nappy, it’s not down to COVID, it’s down to bad parenting unless of course the child has a good reason or is disabled in some way.
But children are going into school in nappies, can you envision a kid running about with an Oompa Loompa backside?
But what isn’t clarified is whether these problems are more or entirely prevalent in any particular area of society, but what we do know is that children’s speech has been hugely impacted, but then most children these days have a TV, computer, tablet or phone shunted in their face most of the day.
Of course, COVID has no doubt had a knock-on effect on children, with numerous children suffering from anxiety when they have to go to school because they were off school for such a long time, but parents potty train their own children and they control what their children watch on the TV.
The problem is this is the age of mobile phones, the PlayStation, Xbox and anything that’s computer related, but if parents actually put their mobile phones down and interacted with their children, that might help.
Thirty years ago parents talked to their children all the time, perhaps running a commentary while they were out strolling with their kids and stories at bedtime.
Colouring helped teach them pen control, and number games helped teach them maths.
The majority of children had been potty trained by the time they were three for playschool and typically did that in the summer because they wear fewer clothes and numerous parents bought their kids Velcro fastening shoes to aid self-dressing.
And as for feeding themselves numerous parents started off giving their children finger foods, but when they started to eat normal food it was cut up into small pieces so that they could readily transfer it into their mouths with a fork. It’s all just common sense, thought and a bit of imagination.