Two parenting news stories for today.
The UK government is endorsing a parenting campaign - five things parents should do each day.
Read to your child for 15 minutes
Play with your child on the floor for 10 minutes
Talk with your child for 20 minutes with the television off
Adopt positive attitudes towards your child and praise them frequently
Give your child a nutritious diet
I would have added one more. Make sure your child gets enough sleep. Nobody behaves well or is ready to learn when they’re tired. The 20 minutes of talk with the tv off could be taken care of by having dinner each night at the dinner table. And the playing on the floor applies only to younger children - just playing doing anything would be ok for older children.
Some people find the idea insulting and middle class. I reckon any guidance the helps people learn how to parent (and lets face it, most people don't know how to parent until they have kids, and most just do what their own parents did, for good or ill), is a good move. If something similar was to be introduced here, I can hear the cries of 'nanny state' ( insulting to nannies?)
Also, controversy over the launching of a new toy. This is a baby doll that children can breastfeed. The nipples to be worn by the child are flowers, which is a bit weird. Normalising breastfeeding? Kind of. Stereotyping girls as mothers and nurturers? I don’t know. Certainly it’s a very gendered toy. I’d just say it is an unnecessary toy (as lots are). My girls have all pretended to breastfeed their baby dolls. Perhaps there is no market for it and it will die a quiet death.
I could provide a roundup of news stories from The Guardian Weekly. Suffice to say the world is cactus, and I'll spare you the depressing details.