No, I’m not talking about one of pouting and posing Rihanna’s hits but rather this curious tale the BBC has put out this morning that some children are going to nursery school without knowing what their name is. I admit this does seem bizarre and I accept Frank Field brought the topic up in the first place but the item they ran does suggest that this actually is the case. So far, so good. The BBC were quick off the mark to get the Headmaster of the school concerned to explain that these kids who do not recognise their own name are “white” children – whatever that is meant to suggest. A pre-emptive strike lest any of us bring up the impact of immigration, I wonder?

Jean Gross, the government’s communication champion for children, agreed that anecdotally “we do have a problem” and teachers were increasingly concerned that it was “getting worse”. She told Sarah Montague that hidden speech difficulties were sometimes to blame, but other times children were not getting “wide, rich dialogue” from their families, partly because parents “don’t know how” to talk to their young ones.

Hang on. HOW have we arrived at the point where some parents do not know how to talk to their children to the degree that the kids cannot even recognise their name? Has the breakdown of the traditional family unit – cheered on by the anything goes BBC – had any impact on this? I suspect that there is a lot more to this story than the BBC seeks to portray and wonder what your views might be?

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15 Responses to WHAT’S MY NAME?

  1. Henry says:

    Yes the interviews were curious. The point you make about families was raised, but was treated as more of a strange point about the moral fibre of parents rather than the stark fact of whether there was only one parent around, with less time to spend ust talking to their child. And it will be easier for those parents to plonk their kids in front of a computer game…Might be the only way they can get anything done

    The second interviewee was very clear that this was a “growing social problem”, even though she admitted the figures were mixed. I’m not quite sure what she meant

    We’re back to the old problem of statistics and interpreting them. I’ll be interested to know how the 58% rise in children identified as having language special needs was arrived at. Sometimes a change as big as this is due to different measurement or definitions.

    There’s also this trend in education of thinking “communication is everything”. Meanwhile I’m concerned that our performance in  science subjects is dropping, in a country that has a fabulous record in Nobel prize winners. You certainly need good communication of a kind to teach and learn these subjects!

    Are we going to become a nation of good communicators who know nothing about science?


  2. Biodegradable says:

    The reason is that 99% of “non-white children” are called Mohamed or Aisha.


  3. Millie Tant says:

    Yes Frank Field did say that ages ago. But in that discussion they were talking about very young children, aged about three, when they go to nursery school, not children starting primary school. At what age do young children normally know their own name? I don’t know when I knew mine, for example. It’s not unusual, though, for families to call very young children by some affectionate term such as Baby, or variants of that, rather than use the child’s name.  It may be only when they start to go outside the family circle that they need to know and use their name. Often it’s among the first things they are taught when they start to learn to write. So it seems startling but may not be as may first appear. I’m not saying that there isn’t a problem with parents not talking to children. That I would not wish to discount but the name thing on its own, for such young children, wouldn’t necessarily mean that.


  4. cjhartnett says:

    Sarah gaily tripped through the minefield-or is it only poppies-that is the role of her BBC in all this.
    Teletubbies is my exhibit 1.
    Follow up with Ross/Brand and the Ant/Decs of the world.
    Slap on the anti-family/anti white/anti male agenda that runs through their output…and it`s no surprise that people are no longer getting anything from the media to encourage discussion or debate as seen from reality out here!
    Look at the BBCs stories and childrens telly…and note that the fish rots from the head down.
    Obviously the BBC are`nt welcome on estates unlesss they`re dealing or bribing-but for Monty and some Childrens Communications Champion to talk over our heads with meaningless titles like these…and you can see the problem is a long time gone!
    The BBC no longer communicates but lectures-and only Brown or Blair are the dual options that we have!
    Trouble results and is resulting from this…


  5. john says:

     If the reply is : I think my name is Stephen
     Then the school really will have a problem.


  6. Martin says:

    This is typical of the BBC though, last week if you remember the BBC did a piece of the pressure on maternity units, they blamed double births (really do you know that many women firing out twins?) and women waiting until older in life.

    What the BBC didn’t mention at all was the main cause, immigration which has had a huge surge under Liebore and is putting the pressure on the system.

    How can the BBC be trusted to report anything when it leaves out the truth for political reasons?


  7. David Preiser (USA) says:

    An increasing number of “non-traditional families” producing an increasin number of non-traditional children?  What a shock.


  8. Paul Thomas says:

    One of the ‘experts’ spoken to on the programme said that some of the mothers of the children were single mothers with no ‘support’ and were so poor that they were daily fighting for survival which meant that they had little time to talk to their kids!

    You really could not make it up. 


  9. deegee says:

    Excuse scepticism. My dog knows his name. Babies know their own name from three to six months, I find the whole story dubious.


  10. Grant says:

    I sometimes forget my own name after a few glasses of Irn Bru. 


  11. jack.savage1950 says:


    That is all.


  12. Beness says:

    I would just like to know how come the children from families who do not work seem to have less time spent on their development.
     I would have thought that parents who were at home would have more time for their offspring.


    • john says:

      Alas no !
      Far too much time is spent on making new brothers and sisters, let alone the agony of waiting next to the door for the Child Benefit Book to arrive.


  13. DizzyRingo says:

    Half the problem is the baby buggy.  The child faces forward and all it can see is a forest of knees when, with a parent facing pram, it is an excellent opportunity for the parent to converse with the child.