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Keep informed with news, articles and stories about all things related to children, young people and families.

Mind the Gap and Facebook Stole My Childhood

Many of us working with children and young people will be in Sheffield this week at the The Children’s Media Conference. I’m talking there alongside children’s digital whizz David Squire from DESQ about meeting the media needs of early adolescents. Our session Mind the Gap will be on Thursday at 2-3pm and again on Friday at 12.45 – 1.30 pm. In this David and I explore who early adolescents (10-14 14 year olds) are and…
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The Bailey Review – The Commercialisation and Sexualisation of Childhood

In Family Kids and Youth’s research carried out for the Bailey Review on behalf of Credos – the independent research arm of the Advertising Association) parental fears centred on their child’s future: their education, their future job prospects, and social concerns such as drugs and violence. This seemed to override concerns about advertising and marketing to children, although clearly this was an issue for some parents. Parents did express unease about the lack of control…
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Children are people too

The research I carried out for my doctorate at Cambridge highlighted the naivety and trust children have in what is completely natural for them – communicating on-line. Our recent research has shown just how vulnerable young children might be. We have observed 5 year olds talking to ‘friends’ online. While this may be completely innocent what is a concern is that frequently parents are unaware of what their children are doing. This is not neglect…
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Kids and Youth Conference – Part 1

The MRS conference held last week in London took us on a journey from small children engaging with the DUKTIG range at IKEA, through the story of today’s digital kids, questions about ethics, and onto the raw and challenging world of teenage street drinkers in Tower Hamlets. Unfortunately Saher Sidhom from Great Works was unable to Chair as planned because his father was taken seriously ill. I was asked to step in at the last…
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The Good News about under 15’s and their use of Digital Media

Another preoccupation for us over the last few months has been The Digital Media Study, carried out by Family Kids and Youth, and informed and helped by Marc Goodchild, Head of Children’s Interactive at the BBC, and Andrew Harrison, CEO Europe of Bestbuy and The Carphone Warehouse. We are currently sifting through 6 months of ethnographic work that has included observation and filming of children aged 5-10 using digital media, sessions in-home, diary keeping, and…
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What does being a parent mean?

Many parents can feel guilty, and this was emphasised in the The Play Report, referred to in my previous posting. Since its publication I’ve been interviewed and consulted about this aspect in particular. I think some parents do feel self-doubt about the way in which they bring up their children, and they also feel that they should spend a lot of time playing with them. The report showed that parents feel guilty that they are…
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The Meaning of Play

Time has been short recently. The Play Report has pre-occupied me for the last few months, together with another major study, children and their use of digital media. Ironic that both studies have involved children and their use of spare time, and both have left us at the agency with little time to spare. But we’ve also been left with a huge sense of satisfaction from working on such interesting studies with such inspired colleagues….
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Winnie the Pooh, the Big Thinker

Taking part in the Big Thinkers debate at the annual Market Research Society conference last week I proposed Winnie the Pooh (known to his friends as Pooh Bear) as having a Big Influence on the way in which we conduct research. My fellow discussants and I each had 6 minutes to argue our case. Now this may appear to have been a strange choice for a Big Thinker. Some say, and indeed he says of…
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Children – the subject of research

Attending the launch of The Children’s Society report on Understanding Children’s Well-being at Westminster Hall on Wednesday reminded me just how much children are becoming used to being asked their opinion. Schools are particularly using research; just recently I have been carrying out pupil perception groups in school, asking 5-11 year olds everything from what they think of school lunches to what are their favourite things about school, and what they would like teachers to…
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More of a tweet than a blog

In final throws of submitting my PhD. Three years in the making it will be like handing over a child, hoping that its custodians will understand and appreciate it as much as I do! This month we are dealing with sensitive issues, talking to teenagers about sexual health, and to children and young people with behavioural difficulties. We are also mid-way through a very large study on play, also a sensitive issue it seems as…
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