Today’s Friday Favourite is a blog post from an author that I really learnt a lot from. Sue Palmer wrote the eye-opening book Toxic Childhood: What the Modern World is doing to our children and what we can do about it.

Now, I’ve read very few parenting books since Ameli’s birth, and I treat anyone that calls themselves an expert in the field of parenting with a little bit of suspicion.  But this book really did a lot for me.

This post today is from Sue Palmer’s blog, and it uses the five fingers of the hand to symbolise the five things that children need to develop healthily. These five elements are:

Love – Play – Discipline – Education – Language

Of love, she says that children ‘need to know that their parents really care for them’ no matter their age. She quotes Urie Bronfenbrenner who said “Someone’s got to be crazy about that kid.”  What a fantastic and true statement. I’m sure if you ask any teacher in a school to point out those children who have no one that’s crazy about them, you’ll be surprised by how easily they can point out the children who have no on that’s crazy about them.

Love ties in so much with discipline, the second factor in the development of healthy children.

And while there were good and interesting points about education and language, it was Sue Palmer’ thoughts on play that really struck me:  Real play is unstructured, preferably outdoors, doesn’t need adult control or direction, and seldom costs money – real play happens with whatever’s to hand.

Possibly the most amazing thing about that is that it is free –none of the things in this life that really matter cost very much. Nice, cute and fun as they are – Ameli is happily banging away at her musical ‘laptop’ right now – they aren’t essential, they aren’t necessary, and they aren’t important. How often has a toy not been discarded for the box it came in?

I encourage you to firstly, go and read Sue Palmer’s post,or watch the vlog, remember the five ‘fingers’ of healthy child development, and go into this weekend as a family, healthily.

Categories: Friday Features

One comment

Friday Favourites – What Children Need For Healthy Development

  1. Fantastic post and so sad to think there are little darlings out there not being loved properly 🙁 Going to read Sue Palmer’s blog now x

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