Drug testing

Clean Kid Syndrome - Does Your Child Suffer from it?

The learning and development of Australian kids is under threat because they're not playing outdoors, engaging in constructive, creative play.

A nationwide Newspoll survey revealed that the average kid is spending at most, just 10 percent of their free time playing outdoors at home. Alarmingly one in 20 parents (5%) admits when their kids are at home they NEVER play outdoors. Instead the majority of Australian kids are spending far more time indoors, watching television, playing computer games or playing with toys.

Years of research shows that constructive play is an essential part of fostering inquisitive and strong minds. Playing outdoors is therefore key to normal development and lack of exposure to this kind of experience may put some children at a disadvantage.

Getting messy is how they learn, explore and express their creativity. It also helps them to stay healthy by encouraging them to exercise and by bolstering their immune system. Importantly it is through play that children learn to explore

The Newspoll study has revealed that the 'clean kid' syndrome is widespread. Two in five kids (40%) are permitted by their parents to get dirty no more than two or three times per week.

And, according to the research it's mainly because their parents are concerned about their child's safety, but also because they're worried about cleaning up any mess their kids make.

Almost all those parents polled (96%) said they wanted their kids to excel at school, in sport and socially, yet they're reluctant to let them kids get their hands dirty. One in four (23%) youngsters never get the chance to get messed up indoors either by cooking or doing craft activities.

It is clear also that Australian parents underestimate the benefits of free, unrestricted play for children as most would prefer their children to do homework than play outside.

So, just how restrictive has outdoor play become for Australia's youngest generation? Six in ten (62%) parents claim that as kids they spent more time playing outdoors getting dirty than their own children do now, including three in ten who spent more than twice as much time outdoors getting dirty as their children.

There is a clear need to rethink how children spend their free time and how their lives are organised. Australian parents are a well-intentioned, anxious, misinformed group. We all care greatly about our children's futures however in an effort to give them the best possible start in life we are run the danger of robbing of them of childhood that we are trying to protect.

For too long Australian parents have been fed the message that they need to start their children on the educational track from an early age. So kids from as young as two are routinely shunted around from one organised activity to another in an effort to maximise their development.

Parents need to be encouraged to buck the 'clean kid' trend and be less anxious about their kids getting messy. But where to start?

Let's start by insisting kids turn off the TV or computer and get outside more often. In a back to the future move let's introduce some old-fashioned activities such as finger painting, making mudpies, leaf stencilling and generally mucking all in the name of good clean fun.

Importantly, parents need to value the simple interactions that they have with children on a daily basis such as cleaning up a spill together or making a bed. From my experience parents underestimate the positive impact that these ordinary interactions have on children.

And it would be good for the well-being of both parents and kids if they spent some time getting down and dirty together. My hunch is that most parents do this anyway but they just don't value these messy experiences enough.

Michael Grose is Australia's leading parenting educator. He is the author of six books and gives over 100 presentations a year and appears regularly on television, radio and in print.

For further ideas to help you raise happy children and resilient teenagers visit http://www.parentingideas.com.au . While you are there subscribe to Happy Kids newsletter and receive a free report Seven ways to beat sibling rivalry.

In The News:

The Stellar Daisy, a massive South Korean tanker that sank in March 2017, was found on the floor of the South Atlantic Ocean nearly two years later, the CEO of an ocean exploration company revealed Sunday.
A strange spider with glowing eyes that lived more than 100 million years ago was recently discovered by paleontologists working in South Korea. 
The intense polar vortex that blanketed the Midwest and made its way to the East Coast with deadly subzero wild chills and snow may have had one benefit: killing off some bad bugs.
Colorado construction workers have made a surprising discovery, unearthing human bones of a Native American man that could date back a millennium.
Skygazers will be treated to the “super snow moon,” on Feb. 19, the largest supermoon of 2019.
In November 2016, astronomers watched a young star some 1,500 light-years away from Earth belch out an explosion of plasma and radiation that was roughly 10 billion times more powerful than any flare ever seen leaving Earth's sun. This sudden stellar eruption may be the most luminous known flare ever released by a young star — and it could help scientists better understand the still-murky process of star formation.
An audacious attempt to find explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance has been called off after the expedition team lost an undersea drone beneath Antarctic ice.
“Our wish is to fly this year,” NASA official Thomas Zurbuchen said at the surprise announcement of a new Moon mission overnight. “We want to incentive speed … We want to start taking shots on goal.”
Bones recently found in a Siberian cave have given researchers a new glimpse into the timeline of an extinct human species. The species – known as Denisovans – at one time lived alongside Neanderthals in the same cave, the evidence showed.
NASA's Opportunity Rover has died on Mars.

Parents/Teens and Money ? 5 Ideas for Keeping the Peace

Children and teenagers are relentlessly bombarded with merchandise that entices.... Read More

Teaching Children Good Manners

Last week in my newsletter, I mentioned that... Read More

Children - Blessing or Curse

You're trying to catch up on some sleep on a... Read More

Im a Mom, Shes a Mom: Being an Adult with Your Parents

On one of her quarterly visits to see her grandson,... Read More

Back to School Care Packages!

I am crying tears of joy mixed with great sadness... Read More

How Two Quarelling Kids Helped Invent the Better Behavior Wheel

When David was nine and Laura was twelve, the battles... Read More

The Importance of Fathers

There is no doubt that mothers play an all-important leading... Read More

CPR: Why You Should Know It

I never dreamed that I would be in a position... Read More

Internet Dangers - Protecting Children from Internet Jeopardy

Parents are in a unique position to "monitor" their children's... Read More

Parents --- Homeschooling Can Take a Lot Less Time Than You Think

The time you will need to teach your children the... Read More

New Mom...New Baby...New Debt?

Ah, there is nothing like being an expectant mom. Along... Read More

Communication Mistakes Parents Often Make - And Easy Ways To Correct Them

As parents, we love our children and want to do... Read More

Saying No To Our Children

Saying no to our children is not always easy or... Read More

What is Incest?

Incest is sexual activity, ranging from fondling to intercourse, between... Read More

Your Job as a Role Model

A certain educator was once asked at what point should... Read More

Mutants or Clones?

In a single dose of children's television, I was bombarded... Read More

Choosing Wooden Toys For Children

Wooden toys are one of the best alternatives for the... Read More

A Guide To Help You Teach Your Children Positve Self-Image Through Fitness

Raising a pre-teen or teenage daughter (or son) is not... Read More

A Legacy For Dakota

Have you heard the song; "I Hope You Dance"? It... Read More

Detox To Help Conception

Detox To Conceive.. If you're having trouble conceiving... Read More

What Might Surprise You About Childhood Obesity

The formula is pretty straightforward: energy in/energy out. This is... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: Back to School Blues

Q: Our son has been in honors classes all through... Read More

5 Simple Steps Guaranteed To Allow You To Spend More Time With Your Children This Summer

Look around: Your kids are counting sleeps until the last... Read More

No, No, No -- What Else is a Parent to Say?

The word no is probably the most overused word in... Read More

Mommie Moments ? Taking Time For Yourself

Being a parent is a role that requires a large... Read More

led bulb induction step-dimming Pete's produce ..