Why do we need to do this? Because modern day childhood, whilst having many great aspects in comparison to previous generations, also has some negative elements that need to be redressed, for example:-
- Our children are growing up in a society that is highly consumerist and material, and in an environment that is media saturated so that they are frequently exposed to adult content and sexualised imagery.
- The many benefits of the technology explosion we and our children enjoy, are juxtaposed with disbenefits regarding safety and unregulated marketing.
- And the attraction and ubiquity of technology is a contributing factor - admitedly amongst others such as parents' fears and the lowest PE hours in Europe - to children's increasingly sedentary lifestyle.
- industry to be clear about the appropriateness of the marketing and of the products either sold to or consumed by children, and where children aren't the end user or purchaser, businesses still need to be mindful of children's potential exposure to these products and their advertising;
- educators to ensure not just the academic but also the modern day lifeskills such as healthy lifestyles, media literacy, and on-line safety, are taught in schools;
- politicans to work together across departments and not just in silos to find pragmatic and workable solutions to these issues;
- and the media to keep this on the agenda and ensure parents' and childrens' views are represented.
Because we all have a role to play in making Irish childhood as positive an experience as our children deserve.
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