Isn't this what playwork is all about?

Didn’t we used to claim that playwork was all about this sort of thing?

Bringing Up Britain
Series 4, episode 4 of 4
Butting Out and Letting Go
Wed, 4 Jan 2012, 20:00 on BBC Radio 4

”In the early years parents control their children’s lives, but a failure to foster independence even in young children is key to debates being had now about whether young people are coping at university and work and with life in general.“



Ner nert Ner nert ner-ner-ner,
Ner nert Ner nert ner-ner-ner, and so on.

”How do you help your child become themselves – do we know what’s hard-wired and what are the key developmental moments?“



Well they didn’t.

Instead that nice blonde lady with the sexy voice called two doctors (both ladies) and a bloke.

Is there any good news? Yes, one of them mentions ‘play’ in the title of her book.

To get on the radio, you need to be a doctor with a book. How many playworkers do you know who have both? We must call them now! Save us !

The people on the radio are these three: “Dr Terri Apter, author of ‘The Myth of Maturity’, Dr Helene Guldberg, author of ‘Reclaiming Childhood: Freedom and Play in an Age of Fear’ and Matt Whyman, who offers advice to young people about how to manage their parents via the advice web-site”

But, seriously folks, this series is worth listening to, it started last week, is on again for the next 3 Wednesdays. Radio 4 can be brilliant, but this has been patchy: more heat than light, more winding me up, less insight, more SOTB.

I think the way Radio 4 works is book driven, so if the field you are in isn’t well-served by books, meaning that it isn’t part of public discourse, then you don’t get a good programme. We had that excellent programme, a couple of years ago, on the history of adventure playgrounds, but it was basically a 40 year old history of a historical phenomenon. And in terms of impact on the public life of the country, that’s probably about right. Try to raise consciousness about the contribution of play to children’s lives by centrally promoting a 40 year old junk playground idea? Hmmm, not a winning strategy on the face of it. That’s why the field wandered away from that idea eventually. Trouble is, we haven’t really come up with a better way, have we? Surestart centres and Childcare for over-5s aren’t exactly brimming with free play are they? Yes, there are some noble exceptions, please don’t bore me, I know this already, The point is it’s not MASS it’s NICHE.


You can ponder that over Christmas. Ho, ho, ho..


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