Ranty Friday — Labelling children in the press

I don’t mean putting name stickers on them, that is a good idea when you need to know a child’s name at a glance.

What I am talking about is when  journalists write stories about their children, I am assuming for cash, with headlines that scream “My demon daughter”.   Labelling children with a tag, a name that is less than complimentary.

Now that particular child is six.   Is she really a demon?  Really?

She has older brothers, three of them.  Are they going to show her that?  Are they going to read chunks of it out to her and let her know what her mum thinks of her and has done in return for cash?  Will children in her class be told she is not to be invited home for tea by parents who have read it?

I can’t help thinking that that surely if we label a child as demonic then anything they do that we feel confirms that  is going to reinforce the label.  Rather than thinking “this is just a six year old being six” it becomes “her being demonic again”.

So is she demonic?  Or is she a little girl craving attention?  Or who maybe has an underlying, as yet, undiagnosed medical condition.   I am not saying for one minute she is not getting attention, or that she does have a medical condition but what is it going to do to her long term mental health to be called this?

To know that her mum virtually pays her friends to take the poor girl off her hands for an evening so she can sit at home and have a family night in without her daughter?

The world being told that she is being “pushed up the stairs to bed”?  What on earth?!!!

Who the hell pushes their child up the stairs?

And that not only that but that you use this as a way to make money.



All she does is scream, wail and scratch her brothers

Seriously?  That is ALL she does?  Ever?

If it is true, that is not normal behaviour for a six year old so you should consider why it is happening.

And if it isn’t true, well why say it?

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  • My son has behavioural issues but I would rather across the good things he does than the bad, celebrate the good, praise him and cheer him.

    Another well put across RF x

  • Very harsh of the mother to label her child like this, all children misbehave, perhaps more time exploring why she’s acting out than complaining would benefit them both.

  • I do think that this kind of ‘talk’ is very dangerous and damaging not only for the child but for her whole family too. It sounds to be as though she’s saying it to create a reaction from readers and ultimately, for money. This is a lesson to us all, one i consider daily – what will my children think of what I’ve written when they stumble across it themselves one day? I hope that this little girl won’t be scarred for life 🙁

  • Oh, this makes me MAD! This woman deserves to have a child that acts up as far as I’m concerned. Little thing is probably picking up on the negative vibes; kids are intuitive like that and then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy *climbs gently down off soap box* 😉

  • I read through that article and thought, if your child is behaving in this manner, then instead of telling the world via a newspaper article, perhaps you should be working on why she behaves this way and how you can sort the problem out.

    It feels like anything for a story these days in the press. Quite sad.

  • How awful. Either there is an issue and she seeks help or there isn’t and she finds a way to ensure everyone gets on. No need to write about it in a public forum.

  • It just shows what kind of parent the woman is, and what kind of family situation is, that instead of getting help for her child, who, by the sounds of it, has some behaviour issues, possibly a learning difficulty or special needs, the help and input she needs, she runs off to blab about it, and get paid for the world to see the horrible things she saying about her. Poor kid. I blog about my children, but I try to write stuff that in 20 years time, they won’t hate me for, and this poor child, doesn’t really have much hope, does she, if her mother is prepared to say this stuff in the newspapers! 🙁

  • So I went and read the article, and it sounds to me like the child has some behaviour issues, lack of self control etc, but frankly, she sounds spoiled and damaged. Surely she needs to be getting some help for the child? What will happen when she starts school and starts behaving like this??

  • I don’t understand how people like her can write about their children in such a way. I know they’re being paid for it but they don’t seem to have any thoughts about how their child might feel coming across such an article when they’re older.

    I also agree with some of the other comments above, if she really is that badly behaved, surely she needs to look at the reasons for it and perhaps the way she and the rest of the family respond to it.

  • I think we also need to be very careful about the effects of what we call our child. If her child hears or reads her being called ‘demonic’ then she could think she was.

  • TOTALLY agree! Just as bad as when people are chatting and say, infront of their kids “Oh – he’s a NIGHTMARE” or similar. Errr…kids DO have eyes and ears people! We get tempted to live up to labels – so lets not hand them out so readily! x

  • I hate that the press can do this. Like others have said, sometimes children live up to labels, when they are given them anyway. People don’t realize just how intelligent kids are these days, they see, hear and read everything. People need to be more careful when they are so quick to openly label. xxx