Best gift parents can give children is time
Published 06/09/2016 | 02:30
Parents will rightly wince at news of a study which finds they are not spending enough time with their children. The study for Children's Minister Katherine Zappone, due for publication later this month, does make for alarming reading.
It comes just as parents face even more pressure from the threat of industrial action at schools this autumn just after the start of a new year. That of itself is another pressure parents could do without, and we very much hope meaningful dialogue will prevail, and deliver a wiser solution than disruption to school classes.
There is a big onus on teachers' unions, school managements and the Education Department to deal with this. Parents and students have more than enough stress already to cope with.
The children's study is by a team from University College Cork working with the Citizens Participation Unit of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. It finds that primary and secondary school pupils feel that too often nobody is listening to their opinions.
Findings also indicate that parents are not spending enough time with their children and this is one of the biggest barriers to young people leading a healthy lifestyle. Many children feel their parents "not being there" and not knowing them as well as they should, is having a negative impact on their health.
The study is part of a bigger effort to identify ways of tackling the serious threat to the health of this and future generations from obesity. This is a very real problem across the western world and there is some evidence to suggest that matters are extremely serious in Ireland.
The reality is that this study, though challenging for everyone, need not be seen as a huge reproach to parents, the vast bulk of whom only want what is best for their children. It may be a timely warning that whatever material gifts we give children, and whatever educational advantages we bestow, the greatest gift of all that a parent can give a child is time.
Tipp are tops and crown a great sporting year
For two solid decades Kilkenny have been the gold standard in hurling. All the other counties aspired to reach the standard set by Brian Cody’s men – but they very often fell short.
Yesterday was a disappointing day for the Cats, who, fittingly, always want more success. But it as a great day for Tipperay who topped a huge sporting year with victory in both the minor and senior All Ireland finals.
The Premier County were popular winners around the country as it was feared Kilkenny had an immovable stranglehold on the Liam MacCarthy Cup. But this was very much a merited win with a masterful display by the Tipperary forwards in particular, during the second half.
All credit to Kilkenny who challenged for long periods, showing that dogged quality they frequently do in adverse circumstances. But they were overpowered by Tipperary, who were unstoppable as the game advanced, and in the end the boys in blue and gold were all heroes as they bagged the title.
In victory, Tipperary manager Michael Ryan graciously said he hoped that their win could point the way for other counties to step up a grade and match the winning ways of Kilkenny. It was a generous sporting thought which could further enhance what is undoubtedly the greatest game in the entire world.
Everyone knows Tipperary will savour this victory and that Kilkenny will hurl on many other big days. There is still more joy to look forward to.