I’ve just posted this advert on the website of Mothers’ Union in the Diocese of Winchester. Obviously my involvement as a Trustee means I’ve known it’s been coming up for some while, and yes, I’m expecting to be there.
But, reading the advert provided by Dr Oluyinka Esan, the conference organiser, I’m wondering if the dialogue could get swamped in negativity?
As I’ve raised before, and as the Bailey Report highlights, there are considerable problems experienced by parents (not just mothers) because of the pressure exerted via the media (and particularly advertising) on children.
But, there must surely be plenty of good or useful things that “media coverage” (which I suspect is different from purely adverts, web access and such like) does for parents. The question is can we identify clearly what they are?
I’m going to throw out a few positive bullet points here, uncertain as to whether they fit the conference criteria or not, but would appreciate your thoughts (and also your company at the conference!)
- The tools of online websites and ordering for so many daily consumables, children’s clothes etc, has made the more thankless tasks of parenting less time consuming – used wisely it can mean more time with children and as family;
- I think media coverage of women, via things like news stories (whether they write them, or are the story) shows them increasingly able to multi-task productively for the benefit of work (income), family, and society – I’m thinking of someone like Ruth Gledhill active as journalist, and reflecting on Motherhood;
- For children there are positive (or at least interesting) ways in which forms of media are being used to aid their education: this week my son’s GCSE English teacher is getting the kids to hand in their poems anonymously via a blog, to encourage peer discussion of their work without ‘personality issues’ coming into play. Once it’s working properly, it sounds like a useful development in the use of blogs.
Surely there must be more than that?