I’ve been reading “Toxic childhood- how the modern world is damaging our children and what we can do about it”. It’s not as dreary as it sounds. It is insightful and informative and yes, a little confronting but very well written and researched.
In this book, Sue Palmer discusses some of the difficulties parents face raising children in our current cultural climate. She looks at the impact of food chemicals, junk food advertising, technology and celebrity culture. She doesn’t blame one aspect for the demise of physical and emotional health in society but breaks down each part so we see that it’s the collective impact that is doing us and our children harm.
It’s almost like she condensed all the things floating around my head into a book.
It’s enabled me to see how all the topics I discuss on MUMmedia fit together. All the topics here are centered around the media and popular culture. Topics like advertising, marketing, the media, consumerism, food chemicals and the environment are all issues that are relevant to parents today. There is a reason they all go together.
Strangely enough, these issues and concerns are totally unique to our generation.
Palmer raises the point that not only are our children being raised in a different world, it’s almost a completely different planet. We don’t know much about this planet yet so it’s fair to say we don’t really know how it’s going to impact our kids.
Our kids are kind of like a social experiment but I don’t want mine to become collateral damage before we figure out that yes indeed food chemicals increase cancer risk or too much technology turns children into mindless under-achievers etc..There’s just so much we don’t know. Let’s not assume it’s safe even if it’s socially acceptable or mainstream.
We can no longer just trust that our kids will ‘turn out okay’ like previous generations – there’s just too much working against them in our current culture. It’s up to as parents to protect and inform them as best we can to give them the best chance to be healthy, happy and successful.
I believe it’s going to take a new wave of intentional, informed parents to ensure the consequences of living on this toxic planet are minimised. This is really what MUMmedia is about.
It starts with us.