But they said it was smacking that caused aggression!

The Australian 24 April 2012
Children who go to before-school care early in their first year of school have been found to have higher levels of hyperactivity and behaviour such as hurting others, tantrums and fighting. A controversial study by Kay Margetts of Melbourne University’s Graduate School of Education suggests the increasing trend towards putting children in before-school care while parents commute to work has a damaging impact on their performance, both academic and social. “Based on this result, I think it’s important to limit the number of changes children have to experience when they start school,” Associate Professor Margetts told The Australian. “The child is out of home for long hours and this can make them very tired.” The study found the influence of attendance at before-school care in the early weeks of schooling increased over time, leading to a range of difficulties at the end of Year 5, including “lower levels of co-operation, self-control and academic competence and higher levels of hyperactivity and externalising behaviours”.  …”However, these results were not mirrored for attendance at after-school-hours care,” she said.

Professor Margetts’s original study found that long hours of childcare — more than 30 hours a week — was linked to more dysfunctional behaviour. She then went back to the children she studied at the end of their stint at primary school and found that some of those who were in care the longest were still struggling six years later.


4 comments for “But they said it was smacking that caused aggression!

  1. Dianne Amott
    23 April 2012 at 3:21 pm

    …or is the behaviour of these children so unenjoyable anyway that their parents choose to work long hours and put them in care to avoid dealing with the behavioural issues themselves and having to spend time with their kids???…

  2. bob
    24 April 2012 at 7:20 pm

    @ Diane – The study is of children in the first few years at primary school. The parents have had very few years to put up with ‘unenjoyable behaviour’ from their children, so hardly a likely reason. Besides, parents do have the ability to influence the behaviour of their children you know… it’s called raising children 😉

  3. Bob
    24 April 2012 at 9:33 pm

    The problem, Bob, is that parents are either unequipped to deal with strong willed children OR feel undermined by laws such as anti-smacking laws and messages that time out shouldnt be used, and therefore just don’t know what they CAN do. The state has made parenting a even more difficult task. And now schools are being confronted with these challenges

  4. sheryl
    1 May 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Again it is the old theme of abuse vs appropriate smacking . . Plain good discipline ,laced with socially accepted behavior is what is needed. Learn to say NO and put healthy boundaries in place, this surely is the way forward.
    Read a book “French Children Don’t Throw Food” a secular book but with sensible proper parenting tips.
    NZ has a blame culture, take responsibility for the choices you make. POOR or no parenting results in wild , children and the poor teacher is left trying to unravel years of messy upbringing!!

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