Camping Holiday

Last week we had our first family camping holiday. My wife and I used to go camping a little bit before we started a family but it is always something we have wanted to do again, so took the plunge and booked a week in St. Ives, to camp with our one year old. Although camping with a one year old is a bit trickier, I was so glad we did it, as it was such a fun week.

Timing

Thankfully we timed our arrival to the campsite just right as it was during her nap, so we were able to get a lot of the putting up of the tent work done whilst she was asleep, which made things a lot easier. The first night was a challenge for our little one year old to settle to sleep, but from day 2 she slept without any fuss. This all made the holiday less stressful and although you have to adapt a bit when you are away from your home comforts, I enjoyed the challenges it presented.

The best thing about the campsite was that it was next to a beach, so we had our first beach day with our little one and although she was a little apprehensive at first, she really enjoyed it and going to the beach became a highlight of the holiday. The space and freedom for our little one to toddle and crawl around was brilliant. In general life you just don’t get the expanses of space and lack of cars etc. so it was fun to just watch her enjoy it and adventure in it.

Outwell tents

One thing I can’t speak highly enough of was our Outwell Alabama 7p tent. Although there were only 3 of us the huge living space and the huge space at the front made it fun and pleasant to be in the tent, as it wasn’t too cramped and everyone had space. A 7-man tent may seem overkill for 3 people but it was perfect, plus the tent had lots of other great features, like roll away sleeping compartments. They may be more expensive than the rest but you are buying quality when you buy an Outwell tent and that is what we got.

For anyone considering taking a young one camping I would encourage them to do so. Yes it’s a bit more challenging and takes a bit more planning but we had a great week and created some fun memories that will last a lifetime.

 

TV and Parenting

In the UK this week the BBC have cause outrage with parents by extending the broadcasting hours of it’s children’s channel CBBC to 9pm. Parents, teachers and doctors have all had their say on the matter with many remarking about how it could damage children’s health and education.

I think the outrage is so interesting in the modern era of video on demand, streaming, Youtube, DVR etc. etc. etc. It is no so easy for parents and children to watch children’s TV at any hour of the day. I don’t think this helps children or parents but it is like Pandora’s Box has already been opened on this front.

Standards

I think if it had been anyone else but the BBC doing this, it wouldn’t be news. People seem to hold BBC to different and higher standards to anyone else. The BBC have fought back to the criticism by saying that people have the off button if they do not want to watch the extended broadcasting of the channel which I wholeheartedly agree with.

The problem with the BBC is that CBBC, CBeebies and all it’s programming has such a following and popularity that children everywhere adore their programming to the point of obsession. So the BBC are a victim of their own success in many ways which isn’t the worst place to be.

Making the right choices

The reason why this subject is so important to me is because I am a new parent and work in the TV industry. I want to make all the right choices for my child and I know everyday you have to make so many decisions and that there is so much pressure to make the right decisions.

I have no right to tell any parent what to do or how to parent but I think it is important that parents keep control and don’t look to others to make their life easier. Troubles and challenges are always going to be around each and everyone of us and how young people interact with media is a big one.

I see so many children with tablets in their hands unsupervised these days. The young generation seem to have control and seem to be exposed to so much media these days which I don’t think is healthy. I am not going to be one of these parents that doesn’t allow their children to watch any TV but I want to be a parent that uses it in the right way and to be involved in their engagement with TV.

Media is powerful but no one is more powerful than a parent.

Know your audience

This week if you follow Premier League football (soccer) here in England you will not have been able to avoid the Diego Costa situation. For all those that don’t follow the Premier League or know Diego Costa, he is one of the top strikers in the world and plays for Chelsea. Diego is a player who plays on the edge and plays the game in an aggressive manner. Last weekend he hit an opposing player twice in the face, was not sent off and in the aftermath managed to wind up an opposing player enough to get that player sent off.

Match of the Day

One of the biggest TV shows about football in the UK is called Match of the Day and it is broadcast on the BBC, which the UK population funds through a licence fee. Match of the Day is a TV programme that is an institution and is one of the oldest shows still running about football, it is a show which is broadcast on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings, it is a show watched by children and families.

When the pundits on Match of the Day had their say on the incident involving Diego Costa they basically passed it off as part of the game. I ask this week – what kind of message is that to send to children? I think this programme has completely forgotten it’s audience; it’s place and who funds it. It has got caught up in trying to create controversy for social media and needs to take a long hard look at itself.

It’s about reaction

It is not Diego Costa’s job to be liked or to play within the rules. He is paid to win football matches for his team. It is up to the referees and media to decide how they are going to react to it. One BBC radio station said that ‘Costa needs referees to keep him in check.’ Again I think this is wrong, it is up to Diego Costa to play the game in the way he wants, it is the referees job to apply the laws of the game.

I have no qualms with late night football shows or football shows on commercial channels and subscription channels reporting on the incident in anyway they see fit as they are trying to get viewers to make money, but the BBC shouldn’t be hunting attention in the same way.

Media

Media is one of the most powerful influencers on society, especially young people so we need to be careful about how we report things. How the media treat the game today will impact on how youngsters watching the game now will play the game in 10 and 20 years to come, it will shape the next generation of British footballers. This is why not just for today but for the future we need to think long and hard about the way we represent the game.