If your kids aren't listening when you tell them something, it could be "inattentional blindness" according to a recent study. You can read the full BBC article here. A lot of mums will think that this is another way of saying they are not paying attention because they have got something better to do. It's exasperating for parents, of course, but aren't grown-ups just as bad? How many people do you know who never listen to what you have to say beyond the first sentence because they are too busy thinking up what they are going to say when you have kindly finished? Yeah, right.
Spain seems to have been giving the matter of children's upbringing some thought. Under draft child protection laws it plans to make housework and homework for the under 18's mandatory in a section entitled "The Rights and Duties of Children". Child will also be required to respect their siblings and to "preserve and make good use of urban furniture and any similar assets". Wow! If that law becomes successful in Spain and its popularity spreads, it could mean that little Johnnie will get a spell in juvenile detention for taking his little brother's toys or tweaking his sister's hair. And just imagine the war on home territory that insistence on kids doing housework? When my two were growing up it was a major effort to get them to put something in the dishwasher. I would have needed an army to get them to do anything in the way of cleaning, dusting or tidying up. "Preserving and making good use of urban furniture" sounds intriguing, doesn't it? I guess it means not smashing park benches and putting rubbish into bins provided.
If Spain really does introduce all this legislation for its youngsters I think it will open up a whole new industry there. Imagine parents reclining in the garden under a shady umbrella and sipping delicately at an exquisite white wine, and saying to guests and neighbours: "The kids? Oh we packed them off to Spain for a year so they can learn how to behave. Johnnie's just been released from a week's detention for failure to clean his shoes when he comes in the kitchen and not listening to adults when they tell him something."