Sue Palmer, author of Toxic Childhood is a literacy and numeracy specialist. The nub of Sue?s argument is that the way that many children are now brought up is preventing them from developing good cognitive, speech and motor skills. She also argues that today?s environment is not good for the proper foundation for emotional security or development. Sue is particularly interested in 10 aspects of childhood, and how these have changed in recent years:
Marketing and peer pressure
Sue argues that modern society may have changed dramatically but that children?s brains and bodies need what they have always needed to develop into strong, thriving adults, capable of learning and living well ? love (lots of cuddling and touch); time (not being rushed); song (rhythm and sound is important for brain development); good food; sleep. This is no longer the norm for many children as they are rushed from one place to another and exposed to too much stimulation.
Sue quotes interesting research, for example, on how the average child spends more than five hours a day on screens or how marketers cynically exploit children?s ?pester power?. Sue?s work illustrates clearly the Centre?s view that problems with young people?s well-being in the UK are deep-seated and cultural.
Sue has a useful and informative website. To access it click here