Saturday, 28 February 2009

A Good Childhood

This month the Children's Society published its report on childhood in the UK, A Good Childhood – Searching for Values in a Competitive Age.  Noting that the UK comes out poorly in studies of child welfare compared to other developed countries (except the United States), it looks for the causes and solutions to the problem. It concludes that in recent decades family and community values have weakened and the void has been filled with excessive individualism, with everyone being encouraged to go for their own happiness and success, without thought for those around them. This pursuit of 'happiness' has led to a decline in trust in society, a reduced sense of community, and increases in conflict and separation in families. 

The report does not shy away from talking about the values we need. This is its concluding paragraph: 
So it is possible to construct a modern society in which there are higher levels of child well-being than in Britain. The key is an ethic in which we care more for each other. As the psychological evidence shows, this yields a double benefit – other people treat us better and we feel better from helping them. It is a world like this, built on the law of love, that we should create with our children.

The Law of Love –  I like that.