Tag Archives: young people

Rise in the number of children calling a helpline as parents are TOO DRUNK . . .

“CHILDREN as young as five are calling a helpline to be read bedtime stories because their alcoholic parents are too drunk to tuck them in at night”,


This is just so incredibly sad.

What Would Your Youthful Library Record Say About You?

What would your youthful library record say about you? An interesting question and one addressed by John Crace (amongst others) in yesterday’s Guardian, (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/03/youthful-library-record-haruki-murakami-belle-de-jour).
I, like John Crace, used to enjoy reading the Biggles books. Indeed I still have a copy of “Biggles Millionaire” on the bottom shelf of the bookcase in my living room. A good old fashioned yellow hardback book. I also still possess H. G. Wells “The Time Machine” and his “War Of The Worlds”, together with Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” (although the latter is missing one Braille volume. Heaven only knows what happened to that)! I must have been an extremely boring teenager as I have no recollection of reading anything salacious unless one counts a rather abridged version, on audio cassette of “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” which, I must confess I did not enjoy reading.


The Garden

Warm summer days.

The haze

of belief.

Time is a thief

that steals

our ideals.

The secluded garden.

Ideas that harden.

The truth


doth know

Oft ends in woe.

A book.

The path forsook.

The backward look

to a place

lost in mist

he can not resist.

Reading Aloud: An Almost Magical Entry Point for Kids in the World of Books

Books are one delight that all children should be introduced to as early as possible in their lives. For a parent there is no feeling quite like the first time you read to your son or daughter. You are opening the door onto the huge world of literature. There is a book available for every type of reader, whether factual or fiction. Reading to your child will open their eyes to the world around them and the possibilities available to them; providing they are willing to let their imaginations run wild.


Reading aloud to kids – a memorable gift

Reading aloud to a child is possibly one of the most amazing gifts that can be given to anyone. It is actually the gift of time and of sharing this time together. Reading aloud to your child will create a lasting memory and a bond between you that will be incredibly difficult to break. In fact, many adults describe being read to as a child as one of their most cherished memories. This gift allows your child to explore strange new worlds while wrapped in the security and safety of a parent’s arms.

The impact of today’s technology on reading

It is far more difficult in today’s modern age of electronics to obtain and sustain the attention of your child. Televisions are commonplace with a multitude of channels available to tempt anyone away from productive activities. Computers and the internet call out, desperate to tell you about the latest, incredibly important video release. Quite possibly this is concerning sleeping cats or hapless children. Society is gradually moving towards the completely electronic age and books will potentially become a forgotten form of media. This makes it even more important to read to your children for as long as you can hold their attention. If you do not make this attempt many children will never experience the joy of reading or the pleasure of time spent with a parent.


Reading aloud creates a visionary perspective

Reading aloud allows you to portray the characters in a far superior way to simply reading the book. You are able to paint a picture and enthrall your children with the story. Their imaginations will know no limit as they immerse themselves into the story and become the hero, or even the villain of the piece.

The storyline does not matter when it comes to your child learning from reading. They will listen to you, your pronunciation of the words and the meaning of them and learn this for themselves. Reading aloud to a child is one of the most effective ways to improve their language skills and broaden their vocabulary. Reading aloud to your child will also educate them in using their imagination and compiling these thoughts into a usable chain of events. Equally it will confirm to them that there is always time for reading.

Making the time to read to your kids

It can seem difficult to find time to read aloud to your child but it is not as difficult as you think. If you were to monitor the amount of times in one day you check your phone for an email, message or social media update you would quickly realize that you easily waster more than the twenty minutes of reading time recommended for children. By simply restructuring your day you may well gain more than twenty minutes. You will certainly gain a better relationship with your child.


Reading skills

Research shows that children who are read to will grow up with a love of books and will want to learn to read, simply to pursue this love. Reading is an excellent way of learning and a vital skill – even if the majority of what you read is on the web. Taking the time to read to your child will ensure they want to learn this skill and they will be grateful for this as they grow older.

As a parent, it should concern you that kids nowadays prefer tablets and Smartphone over books. Start reading to them from an early age, and you may instill a passion for reading. Do it periodically and make sure you read aloud; this way the story will become much more compelling.

By Paul Trevino and LoveReading.co.uk!


Teenagers Are Taking Steps To Protect Their Online Privacy

Earlier today (15 March 2015) I wrote a post entitled “Post In Haste Repent At Leisure”, (http://newauthoronline.com/2015/03/15/post-in-haste-repent-at-leisure/). In that article I drew attention to the dangers of posting content which could come back and bite the poster (for example unsubstantiated allegations have led many a social media user into very hot water).

I was interested to read this article (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2995686/Teenagers-tired-sharing-aspect-lives-online-taking-steps-ensure-privacy-social-media-report-reveals.html). The report appears to contradict statements by the founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg that people are less concerned about online privacy than was previously the case. It shows that many teenagers have both a private and public Twitter account and will share confidential information with friends using the former. Teenagers are also creating false identities (you could have knocked me down with a feather when I read this snipet of information which, as Basil Fawlty might have remarked is, surely a statement of the “bleding obvious”). The use of false identities has the potential to put a spoke in the wheels of marketers who use online activity to market products, (if they don’t know the identity then how do they target). My heart is sore on behalf of all those poor marketers.



Post In Haste Repent At Leisure

I deleted that Facebook post I wrote after having consumed 10 pints of strong beer, the one in which I made unfounded allegations about Ms Y and Mr X. Its no longer showing on my Timeline so it’s all fine now, isn’t it?

Well no, it isn’t! Once something is out there on the internet it is impossible to completely erase it. In the above (fictional) example the post has disappeared from the Facebook user’s timeline. It has, however already been shared many times before the drunken Facebooker had the nouse to delete it. Mr X’s lawyer has already written to Facebook asking that they disclose the poster’s details in order that legal proceedings may be commenced against him. To compound matters Ms Y’s boyfriend knows who the poster is and is on his way round to his home to “have a word”.

In this purely fictional example one may smile at the stupidity of the poster. However such instances of stupidity are commonplace. Take, for example the unfounded allegations regarding certain prominent persons that they where paedophiles. Quite rightly the persons libeled took great exception to the slur on their character and sued.

I feel sorry for young people today. While at university there was no internet so student antics could not be plastered all over the World Wide Web (not that there was anything to plaster in the case of yours truly I hasten to add. I was, of course a model of rectitude …)! However in this age of the internet every unguarded comment made online can come back to haunt the poster. A young teenager, their emotional and mental development still in flux says something on social media which on reaching adulthood they bitterly regret. Sadly it often seems to be wholly irrelevant that the poster now genuinely disavows their youthful comments. The media shows no mercy and they are pilloried for comments which, had they been made in the pre internet age would have been, in all likelyhood long since forgotten.

In Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell introduces Memory Holes. All scrap paper and documents which are no longer relevant or are embarrassing to “The Party” go into these recepticles and are taken to furnaces in the depths of The Ministry Of Truth for destruction. It is never made explicit in the novel but one is left with the strong impression that there are no such furnaces. The Memory Holes are just what it says on the tin – a place where information is stored by the authorities to be used at a later date against the population of Oceania. Virtual Memory Holes are alive and kicking for anyone with the patience and technical expertise to access them. Post in haste repent at leisure.



Rise Of The New Libertarians

At university I read history and politics. Then, being a glutton for punishment I went on to do an MA in political theory, hence my interest on coming across this article concerning the rise of libertarianism among young people, (http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/rise-new-libertarians-meet-britains-next-political-generation-1469233). According to the piece, young people are turning away from support for the welfare state and embracing classical liberal economics combined with social libertarianism. What is being described in the article is not Conservatism for Conservatives do, on the whole support laws against drugs, prostitution etc. In contrast the libertarianism being described here is opposed to what it perceives as unwarranted restrictions on personal liberty of which (they believe) measures against drugs, prostitution etc are a part. Again, within British Conservatism there exists a school of paternalist or one nation Tories who have accepted or, on occasions promoted social reforms (Benjamin Disraeli for example). This strand of paternalism is foreign to libertarianism of the kind being described here.

Worth a read.



Inner City

A cold space, vast, aisles stretching seemingly forever. Musak plays,with occasional monotone interruptions regarding offers which one simply can not afford to miss.

Outside, an icey wind blows newspapers along streets lined with discount stores. Young men unable to articulate beyond “yeah” wander down urban pavements where “the decent” fear to tread. The inner city. Cold, desolate, dead.

School Days

A row of basins, cold and clinical in their perfection of pure white. Carbolic, it’s scent floating down the years, pungent, smelling of boarding school.

The scent of freshly polished floors. Teachers scolding girls who trip along in high heels

“You will ruin the floor. Those shoes are unsuitable”.

Polish, carbolic, the smell of food wafting from the refectory.

An institution functioning like a well oiled machine? The bullying in dark corners. Teachers generally kind but lacking eyes in the back of their heads.

Baths in the communal bathroom, the scent of vim (now called jiff I think). Water running down plug holes, getting dry thence to bed.

Lights out. Children whispering.

“Who’s talking?” the voice of the house master booms. Silence,

“OK you can all stand outside in the corridor”.

We stand a sense of pride that no one told tales. Sometimes, shame to say one of we boys would crack and, pointing the finger at such and such would escape the corridor only to be ostracised by our peers for “being a grass”.

Sometimes happy, other times sad, oh distant school days.

Dogs Are Not Allowed

On the way home from work this evening I popped into my local Sainsburys with my guide dog, Trigger for a few items. On reaching the till a young boy announced, in a voice which would do credit to a sargent Major

“Dogs ar not allowed!”

The obviously embarrassed mother reprimanded her son, (I could detect the rebuke by the tone of her voice but, not being able to understand French I was at a loss to know what, exactly she said). At the time I just smiled. However, in retrospect I ought to have said something along the following lines

“Pet dogs are not allowed in supermarkets, however, my dog is a working guide dog who helps me to find my way around. Because of his special training he is allowed into shops, restaurants and other places which pet dogs are not allowed to enter. All guide dogs will have on a special white harness so you will know (if you see the harness) that the dog is a working guide dog”.

Obviously I would have phrased the above in a manner easily understood by a young child and my words would have been accompanied by a smile so as not to intimidate the little boy. As I said above I don’t know what the mother said to her son but her words where brief and sharp which leads me to believe that the child was admonished for his statement rather than having the role of working guide dogs clearly explained to him, It is only through patient explanation that children learn and shouting at youngsters is not the way forward. Education is, as with so many other issues the answer.

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