For anyone interested in trying to do just that, you might have a look at the new film out by Kate Jangra, called Babyhood. Kate is an independent filmmaker and mother, who wanted to try to provide insights into what she sees as the landscape within which children are today growing up.
The film contains interviews with some well-informed commentators, including amongst others, Sue Palmer, author of Toxic Childhood, Sue Gerhardt, author of Why Love Mattters, and John Carnochan, Co-Director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit. When you combine the observations of these thinkers into one source, it becomes pretty hard-hitting.
Particularly compelling is the rap-verse of poet Hollie McNish, whose themes ranged from extreme tiredness to supportive fatherhood to our commercialisation of childhood. Hollie’s performances are so worth a watch. Here’s one lovely hard-hitting stanza from her recitations in Babyhood:
A hundred quid for a High Street hug
as packaged parents spend for love,
scared they’ll fund their children up
as High Streets rake the profits up.
I saw the film last week with a group of about 30 other folk, held in the back room of an Edinburgh pub! Our ad-hoc gathering contained authors, developmental psychologists, paediatricians, parents, health visitors, educational press, teachers, and others. The conversation afterward amongst the group was animated, with the focus being: how do we get this information out to the wider public, and especially to parents.
One answer is: write a blog about it. So I did. Another answer is: organize your own local showing of the film. So I’m going to. (More details when I’ve booked a space in Dundee.) Another answer is: buy a copy of the film. Kate has them on sale for £10.00. She’s entirely self-funded.
What I especially love about Kate’s film is that, in only 50 minutes, it takes you to a place from which you gain a very broad perspective on babies’ lives and on parents’ lives today. It forces us to look at the choices we are all making unconsciously, living in the 21st century world. It asks us, please, to start making those choices consciously. And then, if we want, to make other ones…