- IoI Forum
- IoI Parents Forum
- Venue: London
- Date: Ongoing
What we are:
Parents who can think for ourselves
Parents who want to bring up our children without being lectured to
Parents who want our children’s horizons broadened, not narrowed
Parents who are fed up of being treated like children
The Parents forum is an initiative aimed at parents and other individuals who are critical of the knee jerk reaction to most domestic issues that it is the parents or family to blame.
The forum started in October 2006 and so far discussions have looked at: is modern society dangerous for children?, the obsession with healthy eating, breast feeding and what is positive or negative about the family today.
If you feel this sounds like you and you would like an opportunity to discuss parenting issues the Parents Forum is holding a series of discussions.
Tuesday 15th January
Redefining Parental Neglect
A cross- disciplinary discussion on the how the state is looking at and redefining the idea of parental neglect and bringing it more centre stage.
Child Neglect in 2011, Action for Children
To attend, contact Jane Sandeman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday 24nd May
French Children Don't Throw Food
We will be looking at the Pamela Druckerman book, French Children Don't Throw Food. This is published as Bringing up Bebe in the US. There seem to be a number of books out at the moment praising France - French women don't get fat and French children are well behaved. Is there something different in French society that we can learn from?
Sally Millard will introduce.
French Children Don't Throw Food, Dr Pamela Druckerman
No bowing down before Bébé, Nancy McDermott, spiked review of books, March 2012
To attend, contact Jane Sandeman at email@example.com
Thursday 22nd March
A 5 year old hit the headlines recently as his parents and medical experts agreed that he was a girl trapped in a 5 year old boys body. A Canadian couple are bringing up their children gender neutrally. Is gender identity natural or nurtured? Can we, and should we, bring our children up to ignore gender stereotypes?
Martha Robinson a PhD in Neuroscience will introduce the topic.
Gender Identity Disorder in children: an expert's view, Dr Jack Drescher, Daily Telegraph, 21 Feb 2011
Sweden's 'gender-neutral' pre-school, BBC News, 8 July 2011
'The most PC family in the world' try raising a gender-neutral child. It's been done before, and failed, Ed West, Daily Telegraph, 25 May 2011
Delusions of Gender, Cordelia Fine
Wednesday 22nd February
Panic on a Plate
Rob Lyons's recently published book examines today's current obsession with food and the myths that surround it. Is there a scientific basis to eating five fruit and vegetables a day? Is tomato ketchup bad for kids? The obsession with healthy eating affects everyone and creates a particular anxiety for parents trying to do what is best for their children. Rob's book looks objectively at the food propoganda surrounding us and dares to challenge things given as absolute truths.
Rob Lyons will introduce the topic.
Tuesday 24th January
Everyone is talking about social mobility these days. And everyone is identifying that quality of parental input is probably the most decisive factor. Is this true? What is the social mobility agenda - and is it desirable?
Introducing the discussion will be Sally Millard
- Sutton Trust report on social mobility, 28 November 2011
- Teachers and parents: enemies or allies?, Sally Millard, Independent blogs, 31 October 2011
- Should schools be engines of social mobility?, Sally Millard, Battles in Print 25 November 2011
- Breastfeeding: an enduring doctrine, Lee and Faircloth, spiked, 12 December 2011
Wednesday 13th July
Sexualisation of Children
The recent government review has sparked off a huge discussion about whether there is a pornification of society that needs to be addressed; or whether there is an increasing anxiety about sex and children, which has nothing to do with pop videos, but has a lot to do with adults own anxieties about boundaries between adults and children.
Introducing the discussion will be Dr Jan McVarish
Thursday 5th May
The Power of the Mummy Bloggers
The mumsnet phenomenon has been discussed extensively- mumsnet was seen as the kingmaker in the last election. A Save the Children initiative in Bangladesh invited three mums who are the leading "mummy" bloggers to go along and see work they had done there and discuss it in their blogs. Introducing the discussion will be Jennifer Howze, a journalist and co-founder of CyberMummy, the UK's only conference for parent bloggers.
Thursday 27 January 2011, 7pm
Discussing how the law and social policy are dictating a norm about how adults should behave within their own intimate sphere. Helen Reece, who has written extensively on this subject, will introduce.
Thursday 1 July 2010, 7pm
Why do boys fail? Jo Sedley, a primary school teacher, will introduce a discussion on what is the truth behind the contention that boys are failing at school? What does the discussion really represent?
Recommended reading: Boys are being failed by our schools, Daily Mail
Thursday 27 May 2010, 7pm
Jennie Bristow introduced a discussion on Sure Start. In all the debate around the general election there is one thing all commentators and parties have agreed on: that Sure Start is a good thing. This forum looked at why is Sure Start so feted; and what will Sure Start become in the light of who has won the election.
- The family
- The Welfare State
- Enter the villains in our modern morality tale
- Cameron is concealing his inner Bush
Wednesday 31 March 2010, 7pm
Are young girls being sexualized? In our seemingly ceaseless appetite to problematise teenagers, the latest discussion is the sexualisation of children. Cameron and Balls are fighting it out as to who identified this issue first, and who can introduce the most regulations against advertisers.
This forum critically examines are children being sexualized? What does this mean? What is the content of the strategies proposed to counteract this alleged sexualisation and what do they mean for how we think about children, sex, and adult authority.
The forum was introduced by Dr Jan McVarish, a researcher and lecturer at the University of Kent. Her interests lie in the sociology of interpersonal relationships, parenting, family life, sex and intimacy.
- Linda Papadopoulos on the Sexualisation of Young People
- Stop sexualising children, says David Cameron
- Carol Sarler: The dressing-up box is a pretty safe place for little girls to play
Thursday 25 February 2010, 7pm
Politics, policy and the family. Angus Kennedy introduced why the family has become the pre election topic debate- with Labour publishing its Green Paper on the family this week (with a particular emphasis on the roles of fathers) and David Cameron announcing that the Tory party will mend Broken Britain.
Recommended reading: Plans outlined for strengthening families
Thursday 14 January 2010
Stephen Baskerville, who is an advocate of father's rights, talked about 'Father's rights, family courts and divorce'.
Recommended reading: Free-Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry by Lenore Skenazy
Tuesday 22 September 2009
A Dutch court has put a 13-year-old girl under state care for two months, stalling her bid to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. The decision by three Utrecht judges means Laura Dekker’s parents, who support her plans, temporarily lose the right to make decisions about her. A child psychologist will now assess her capacity to undertake the voyage. This forum asks the question should this girl be allowed to sail around the world?
Are parents always right when making these decisions? Or do their own ambitions blind them to what is best for their children? Introduced by Sally Millard, who is producing a session on this topic at the Battle of Ideas.
Recommended reading:Free-Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry by Lenore Skenazy
Tuesday 30 June
Discussion on the recently republished The Nurture Assumption by Judith Rich Harries
Helene Guldberg, author of Reclaiming Childhood will introduce. See www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/reviewofbooks_article/6399/
Thursday 21 May
Discussion on The Lost Child by Julie Myerson
Wednesday 1 April
Experts and supernanny agree that the right kind of parenting is authoritative: firm but fair. Is there a right way to discipline your child? Is smacking totally out of the question? Is our anxiety about discipline showing we have lost our authority in the first place?
Introduction by Helen Reece
Wednesday 25 February
The forum will discuss the recent Good Childhood report
Wednesday 21 January
Wednesday 26 November
Indicators of a school’s contribution to well-being
Sally Millard will introduce a discussion on the Ofsted consultation document 'Indicators of a school’s contribution to well-being'
Tuesday 21 October
IVF provision, risk and morality
Who should be entitled to receive NHS-funded IVF treatment? How many cycles of IVF should they receive, and how many embryos should be transferred at a time? Why have these questions become so heated of late, and what do officialdom's answers reveal about risk and morality today?
Introduction by Sandy Starr, Communications Officer at the Progress Educational Trust
Thursday 25 September
Adoption, introduced by Dave Clements
Thursday 10 July 2008
The emperor’s new therapeutic clothes
Teachers and educationalists want to see resilient, positive, happy children. How could there any objection to this? Or is the new affirmative language of therapeutic education just a façade? Is there a new moment in education or are therapists dressing up a diminished view of children in fancy clothes? Dennis Hayes and Kathryn Ecclestone – authors of The Dangerous Rise of Therapeutic Education - discuss the reaction of the therapeutic establishment to their critique.
'Infantilised' students and staff rapped, Melanie Newman, Times Higher Education, 12 June 2008
Thursday 1 May 2008
Watching, wanting and wellbeing
The National Consumer Council issued two reports last year warning of the danger of advertising and television watching. Their concern is that children who spend more time in front of a TV or computer screen are more materialistic. They say that their evidence shows that children who are more materialistic tend to have lower self-esteem.
Are children are being overwhelmed by consumer culture? Does this make children unhappy?
The forum was introduced by Wendy Earle.
Thursday 21 Feburary 2008
No Fear: Growing Up in a Risk Averse Society
Tim Gill introduced his book looking at risk and children. No Fear joins the increasingly vigorous debate about the role and nature of childhood in the UK. Over the past 30 years activities that previous generations of children enjoyed without a second thought have been relabelled as troubling or dangerous, and the adults who permit them branded as irresponsible. No Fear argues that childhood is being undermined by the growth of risk aversion and its intrusion into every aspect of children's lives. This restricts children's play, limits their freedom of movement, corrodes their relationships with adults and constrains their exploration of physical, social and virtual worlds.
Tuesday 15 January 2008
Helene Guldberg, child development expert and author, will talk about her forthcoming book: how children's lives have changed, and how these changes shape children's development.
Thursday 6 December 2007
Families in the Media
This forum will look at the contemporary media portrayal of families in popular culture - MummyLit, reality TV and drama shows. From Bringing Up Baby to Desperate Housewives, you can be upfront and personal about what you watch and read and what you think about it.
Introduced by Alicia Munckton
Monday 19 November 2007
Early-years education - held jointly with the IoI Education Forum
Does the Early Years Curriculum presage a new ‘Jesuit’ maxim: "Give me a child from birth to five and they will be the State's forever"?
Speakers: Jo Sedley and Jenny Payne
25 September 2007
Children and Sport
Sport today is heralded as the supreme shared national experience. At the same time sports days in school are composed of non-competitive events. Yet the government wants to put more emphasis on Physical Education in the school curriculum.
Is there a problem with children and sport? Are we raising a generation of couch potatoes?
23 August 2007
Every Child Matters
Parenting has increasingly become a central issue for public policy making. Initiatives such as Every Child Matters, Sure Start and Children’s Centres proliferate. There seems to be no end to the government’s appetite to marginalize parents and bring in the professionals into family life.
This forum will examine the impact that these initiatives are having on the family. How do these policies impact on the role of parents today?
Every Child Matters website
If this were my child ... A councillor's guide to being a good corporate parent
Parenting Support: Guidance for Local Authorities in England
Care Matters: Time for Change
Handle with care: an investigation into the care system, Harriet Sergeant (Introduction)
Policy review of children & young people, HM Treasury
The State is a pretty rotten parent, Fiona Millar
26 July 2007
The Feminine Mistake: Are we giving up too much? by Leslie Bennetts
This is one of the latest books on the ever continuing mommy wars discussion. This forum will look at what are the issues that underlie the debate about whether it is better to be a mother who goes out to work, or one who stays at home
19 June 2007
The UNICEF report on 'Child Poverty in Perspective: An overview of child well-being in rich countries'
This report created a furore when it was published earlier in 2007. The United Kingdom came out as the worst country for child poverty in the developed countries. Since then it has set the framework for much of the discussion about children and adolescents in the UK today.
This forum will examine the report in detail and look at how valid are the findings of the report. What does it tell us about young people in the UK? Is there anything we can take from this? What, if any, are the issues we need to address?
The UNICEF report: http://www.unicef-icdc.org/presscentre/presskit/reportcard7/rc7_eng.pdf (PDF)
Tuesday 1 May
The forum discussed teenage mothers.
Thursday 15 March 2007
Save Kids' TV
Ofcom has just published rules which decide what foods are considered “junk” and these foods will be banned from being advertised during children’s’ programmes this year. This will have a serious impact on commercial channels being able to continue funding children’s television.
On top of this commercial broadcasters are reacting to changes in children’s’ viewing patterns by limiting their production of new, innovative children’s’ programmes. This is happening in a climate when children watching TV is being blamed for autism, obesity and the early onset of puberty for girls.
Estelle Hughes - Save Kids’ TV campaign, ex-Controller of CITV
Estelle will examine how we make a case for quality UK children’s TV in the present climate
20th February 2007
The Mommy Myth by Susan Douglas and Meredith Michaels.
The discussion will be looking at the myths of motherhood. How does the media portray motherhood? Is it the most fulfilling experience of your life? Can women only achieve contentment through the perfection of mothering?
Tuesday 16 January 2007
‘Is breast best?’
Monday 4 December 2006
The meeing analysed the Jamie Oliver phenomenon - why has it captured the public imagination? (Readings announced separately).
The convenor is Jane Sandeman. For more information and/or if you are interested in attending please email Jane.