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

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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Running before you can walk (or using the App Store before you can read)

No postings last month as I’ve been completing the final section of my PhD thesis. Now, happily, I’m editing so life is a bit back to normal, and I’m hoping to submit next month. I also managed to go to Italy; the thesis came with me and I was able to do a bit of editing, but somehow sun, food, wine and Italy do not fit in with thesis editing … With me for part…
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Asking teenagers to write about their media consumption

There has been much written about Matthew Robson (aged 15 years and 7 months) this week. Matthew has produced a report about teenagers’ media habits, and apparently it has created enormous interest from international fund managers and analysts. His supervisors have described the report as ‘one of the clearest and most thought-provoking insights we have seen’. The 15 year old was lucky enough (and brave enough) to accept an internship at Morgan Stanley where the…
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Are social networking sites harmful to children?

It is perhaps difficult to believe that the term ‘social networking site’ (SNS) was not widely recognised back in 2004 when teenagers in the US first discovered MySpace (see boyd & Ellison, 2007). With the ‘open’ nature of social networking using digital technology, concern about children’s safety remains paramount to commentators and child experts. While there are many positive aspects of children using social networking sites, dangers undoubtedly exist – not just infiltration by online…
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Observing Children at Home and Positive Psychology in School

Children and young people behave very differently at home than the way they do at school. The recent half term holidays meant we were all very busy; between us we visited over 25 homes and grandparents’ homes, looked into fridges, were shown contents of wardrobes, took photos of favourite digital equipment, attended cricket matches and swimming lessons, and Amanda even went to a birthday party. We were all completely exhausted by the end of the…
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