Tv presenter criticises pushy parents

TV presenter Kirsty Young has criticised the "modern disease" of parents who see children as aspirational objects and “extensions of their own success". Plus other news.

TV presenter Kirsty Young has criticised the "modern disease" of parents who see children as aspirational objects and “extensions of their own success".
In an article for Radio Times, the presenter, who is making a four-part documentary series called The British Family for BBC2, says children are being "funnelled" into "areas of achievement" like extra maths classes and Chinese lessons.
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Busy parents take the rap for children’s communication difficulties
One in six children has difficulty learning to talk because parents are not spending enough time interacting with them, according to the Government’s “communications champion”.
Jean Gross said twice as many boys as girls had communications problems because they are spending too little time with adults and too much time in front of the tv or on computer games. Almost 25% of boys had communications problems, compared wtih 13% of girls – 5% of boys and 2% of girls had serious problems, according to a YouGov survey of 1,000 parents. Some 4% of children had not uttered their first word by the age of three. Many with problems received no help.
Gross, an educational psychologist, said there was anecdotal evidence the problem was rising and said part of the reason was parents were too busy struggling to pay high mortgages. Poor quality childcare at some nurseries meant children were looked after physically but were not helped to develop their emotional and communication skills.

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Tories plan new maternity network
The Conservatives have announced a new “maternity network” to link up services for pregnant women.
David Cameron, the Tory leader, says the plan is to “bring together in one network all the maternity services in one area that a mother may need”. It is part of the Conservatives’ plans for the NHS announced on Monday.

BBC ‘ageist’, says Harman
The BBC is wasting the talent of older women, according to equalities minister Harriet Harman.
Harman claimed this week that female presenters had to be on average 10 years younger than their male counterparts and that women’s experience and talent should be recognised. She said viewers were annoyed by this attitude to women.
The BBC has pledged to appoint a newsreader over 50 after recent accusations of ageism, including the replacement of Arlene Phillips with Alesha Dixon on Strictly Come Dancing.

25% of high flyers considering changing jobs
A quarter of high-performing employees may leave European firms in the next year, according to a report by global executive network and consultancy Corporate Executive Board.
The report shows that business growth targets have not been met by most companies after key management changes at the top and 82% are worried they can’t beat their key targets this year.
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A third of employees consider changing jobs due to recession treatment
One in three UK workers are considering changing their jobs because they feel they are not valued as a result of the recession, according to research by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The poll of around 950 workers showed that 41% of those who said their employer had shown they appreciated their work said they would not leave. 
Michael Rendell, partner and leader, HR services, PricewaterhouseCoopers, says: “As the long-term impact of people management decisions taken during the downturn begins to be felt, the winners and losers of the war for talent are starting to reveal themselves – with those who continued to focus on investment and employee engagement emerging as clear leaders.”
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