Seven Sharp undermines Government, educators, schools, teachers and parents

The Government and the Ministry of Education plus many schools and teachers have been working hard setting up learning from home programmes and resources ready for Term to start today.

Last night Nigel Latta on Seven Sharp undermined a lot of this, saying if kids didn’t want to do any school work they should be allowed to sit and watch TV instead.  Apart from sending the opposite message to kids on the importance of keeping up with studies, this also undermined the battle we have been making here to reduce excessive screen time and get a lazy teenager off the couch for at least part of the day.

Many parents and grandparents and caregivers have already been doing some teaching from home and preparing children for schooling from home when the term starts.

On the eve of term 2 Seven Sharp had an item they are now promoting as  How to cope with kids learning at home during the lockdown

Term two will begin with online classes soon with Nigel Latta providing some tips for stressed parents.

We decided to watch this with a 15 year old grandson who we spent some time with yesterday preparing for the start of the term.

The message from Latta completely undermined this and the work we have been doing over the last three weeks.

Asking “How much home schooling do children really need during the lockdown?” Latta replied:

“Well, the simple answer is none. Need versus want.

“So there’s some kids that will want to do school work and that’s great because teachers have worked really hard and there’s lots of good content for them to do, and if they want to do it, and they enjoy doing it, and it’s easy for the parents to do, and it doesn’t add stress, great, do it.

“If you’re trying to juggle work and a bunch of other things and the kids don’t want to do it and it’s just adding stress, don’t do it, and it will do them no harm at all.”

So kids listening to that who don’t want to do any school work will figure that stressing their parents may get them off.

Hillary Barry:

“That will be so reassuring for so many parents, honestly, because as we go into this third week that seems to be the growing anxiety amongst adults who have children at home, that they’re worried kids are going to fall behind during this period”..

Latta:

“Yeah. They totally will not fall behind and you absolutely shouldn’t worry about this. We’re talking about a few weeks, and honest my boys are older now but if my boys were school age, little kids age and they were at home, and they wanted to do school work, I couldn’t be saying ‘Are you sure? You could just watch tele like’, like literally, honestly that’s what I’d do because it would just be less stressful.

“If kids want to, and they enjoy it, great, do it, and teachers are working really hard to put good resources online, but your kids will not be any worse off…”

“The most important thing is keep your home calm and settled, and that’s the thing that will be of most benefit to your children, and don’t add in fighting and anxiety about school work when you don’t need to”.

The message I get from this is that kids should be able to choose what they do, and if they don’t want to do something and watch tv instead all they need to do is kick up a fuss and cause stress to get their own way. Parents battle against this all the time.

Given the choice most kids will choose not to do school work. A lot of kids would choose not to go to school. But there are good reasons for guiding them with their activities, and not just letting them lie on the couch watching television all day.

Latta:

“Your job, if you’re a parent your most important job has nothing to do with anything else, it has to do with you providing a safe and calm environment for your kids.

“And if that means no school, and more playing and a bit more screen time or maybe just playing games as a family or helping doing some baking or whatever, that’s completely fine.”

Of course that’s all fine, many parents and caregivers have been doing all that for the last three weeks with their kids. But that doesn’t mean letting kids do whatever they want to do, and not doing things they can’t be bothered doing.

“…honest to god, I’d be saying to my boys, ‘there’s tele, we could just watch tele, like there’s no one can see us, it’ll be fine'”.

Many parents already have to fight against too much aitting on the couch, too much tv time, and too much device time. They can be useful pastimes and babysitters at time, but if you give kids free choice it can become a big problem – and in itself stressful.

Up until here it was vague about which age group Latta was referring to. There’s a big difference between the needs and free choice of 5 year olds versus 18 year olds. He was next asked specifically about secondary school kids.

So for secondary school kids it’s a bigger deal and they all feel pressure. One of the things I think parents should be saying to secondary school kids is, what we know from what happened after the Christchurch earthquake there was a lot of concern about how that would impact on kids NCEA results, and in fact the disrupted schools NCEA scores went up, they improved after all the disruption and the shifting around from the earthquakes.

I doubt that’s because the kids were given free choice about whether they did any school work.

“So again their stuff isn’t as fragile as they might think. It’s just about working through with your kids, helping them to kind of calm themselves down and to focus and to do the level of school work they want to do, and again, don’t get into fights with your teenagers about school work either….

“Don’t fight with your teenagers about school work. You should encourage them if they do have NCEA stuff coming up, I’d be doing that if I had teenagers, but I would not be adding stress that I don’t need to add in….

“Your most important job with teenagers is to keep things calm and settled”.

‘Calm and settled’ for many teenagers means doing as they please, which is as little as possible. Stay up as late as they like, stay in bed all morning, spend most of their time on their devices, on the internet and watching TV.

But that can be quite stressful for parents and caregivers, seeing teenagers vegetate and reinforcing laziness and not care about others in the household, and no care about their futures.

Teenagers can use stress, create stress by kicking up a storm, to try to get their own way. Latta has given them a signal that more of this will get them what they want – doing as little as possible.

I’m currently caring for a 15 year old who actually doesn’t mind doing school work when he’s made to, he likes achieving things academically. But he’s bone idle lazy and given a choice would do no school work, wouldn’t help around the house, wouldn’t shower, would live off convenience and junk food, would want to take control of the tv and sit all day on the couch on the internet. After watching Latta he got two more cushions because he was getting a little uncomfortable from lying on the couch.

Latta has undermined what we’re trying to do to instill self responsibility and also joint household responsibility, and to instill a work ethic in a lazy teenager. We’ll work through this and get a school work from home programme organised today, but Latta has made our job a bit harder.

It’s actually less stressful here when teenagers contribute some effort into the household and into their academic futures and don’t complain about being bored and don’t keep asking to use youtube and get more games on their smart phone.

 

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30 Comments

  1. artcroft

     /  15th April 2020

    And just think, lock down might last till Christmas if the experts get their way.

    Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  15th April 2020

    Latta is dead right of course.
    Churning out cookie cutter kids is a waste of human resource anyway.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  15th April 2020

      Bugger, I’m going to agree with you, B. But teaching kids is all about getting the incentives right so they will do it themselves. If they want to play on their smartphones get them to learn to write an app to do something useful on it. Or set them a challenge and a problem to solve or something to create. And bribery is always popular.

      But whatever you do, don’t look to TV experts for guidance. That was your big mistake.

      Reply
  3. duperez

     /  15th April 2020

    How many kids would have been watching Seven Sharp and the offending segment and being led astray and being perverted?

    And was there an immediate educational opportunity, real learning, about real life?
    About believing what someone on TV says. And what anyone in the media says is right as it applies to every viewer in every situation in every circumstances.

    Reply
  4. Gezza

     /  15th April 2020

    Nigel Latta is a psychologist. He seems to specialise in child psychology. But he’s made himself (with TVNZ’s connivance) into a flipping oracle on all sorts of things, many of which he knows as much about as you & me.

    I don’t know how much value one should place on some of his utterances these days as he’s become something of a pop pyschologist & a celebrity, looking for approbation from fans and probably a cheque from TVNZ for entertaining them.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  15th April 2020

      I was thinking exactly that the other day- before this even came up-he was a prison psychologist so he had insights into why they commit crimes and more interestingly why they stop. That was a good front man for a TV show about crimes and he knew what he was talking about ….. but now he doesnt know what he is talking about….indeed he has become a public know all and there is plenty wrong with that
      This theme has been something I have been on about for some time, but is very clear in this instance

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  15th April 2020

        Yes, his Darklands series was compulsive viewing for the 1st one. I think he made several more. And I noticed with the second series that, actually, his analyses of some of the crims he profiled were getting rather shallow and somewhat glib.

        He got very lazy. It might have been the episode on William Bell, not sure, but with one of them he seemed to leap straight from what he did, and why (his upbringing was horrific and I think he’s a sociopath or psychopath anyway), but then he finished it off with something completely at odds with everything that had been covered in the programme.

        Something like Bell made the choice to commit the crime – when if you watched the whole thing, until he said that – he’d conveyed the impression (to me, at least, as an interested viewer) that it was virtually inevitable that Bell would do what he did.

        I stopped watching the series after that. I decided he was phoning it in.

        Reply
      • Blazer

         /  15th April 2020

        ‘.indeed he has become a public know all and there is plenty wrong with that’

        You better hope he doesn’t become a blog ‘know all’…he may give even you a..run for your..money!

        Reply
  5. Gezza

     /  15th April 2020

    I”m currently caring for a 15 year old who …’s bone idle lazy and given a choice would do no school work, wouldn’t help around the house, wouldn’t shower, would live off convenience and junk food, would want to take control of the tv and sit all day on the couch on the internet. After watching Latta he got two more cushions because he was getting a little uncomfortable from lying on the couch.

    Sounds like one of Jonesy’s “nephs”. He admitted recently he hasn’t been able to get them of the sofa either, didn’t he?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  15th April 2020

      *off

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  15th April 2020

      A link for that comment of Jones ?
      Was it just the other day I had to pull the wings of someone claiming Bridges had permission to travel around the country. Some times pollies say crazy things but often thinking they say things is a different game , more about what you want to think

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  15th April 2020

        MIght’ve even been in one of PG’s relatively recent posts – to do with re-purposing the Provincial Growth Fund -either in his commentary or a linked article.

        I can’t be bothered scrolling back or googling to find it just for you. You know I prefer sometimes to let you do the research when I’m not particularly fussed. I’m happier having you waste your time than mine.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  15th April 2020

          So you admit writing nonsense….this is what gives social media a bad name.
          Shane Jones seems to occupy a space in your head …rent free

          Reply
        • Gezza

           /  15th April 2020

          So you admit writing nonsense

          Fake news. Where did I admit that?

          ….this is what gives social media a bad name.

          Trolling posters, insulting them to stir up shit fights so you can get your jollies gives social media a bad name. It’s also tiresome.

          Shane Jones seems to occupy a space in your head …rent free

          He occupies so little space in my mind I called him Jonesy because I couldn’t even recall his first name, dingbat. You’ve got a fixation what you think is in my head that’s never right & definitely not a sign of a well-balanced individual. Stop putting your pack on my shoulders, duker. I have an actual real life.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  15th April 2020

            Arent you one of those who ‘gag’ over any mention of Jacinda and ‘kindness’
            reap what you sow….and trying to dis PG to cover your own ignorance too.

            10 sec to find … a lifetime to shove it where ……..
            “Shaade Rakete, 19, was a stay-at-home mum of two before joining an agricultural course on a Landcorp farm, where she gets paid to plant native trees and learn other agricultural skills.
            “The benefit wasn’t supporting us and, yeah ,I just wanted to get out there,” Rakete said. “I’m learning how to plant, how to look after plants from seeds, repotting.”
            Alpine Dunn, 20, was kicked out of school in year 9 (third form). He was “on the couch”, he said, “doing nothing”.
            “I just stayed at home after that.”
            He also joined the programme about six months ago, saying it was “good to have some income”.
            https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/110356904/shane-jones-wants-provincial-growth-fund-to-get-nephs-off-the-couch

            and the killer quote
            The NEET rate has dropped from 11.8 per cent to 10.1 per cent since the coalition Government took office.
            thats the bureaucratic name for the ‘nephs on the couch’, Not in Education, employment or training.

            Reply
          • Gezza

             /  15th April 2020

            Aren’t you one of those who ‘gag’ over any mention of Jacinda and ‘kindness’”

            Nope. Not a bugbear of mine. And not getting diverted by that obvious & pathetic attempt at extending your trolling opportunities.

            reap what you sow….and trying to dis PG to cover your own ignorance too.

            No idea what you’re wanking on about there, dude. I haven’t dissed PG – that’s a regular habit of yours. Told you not to put your pack on my shoulders. I don’t look at the world thru your lenses. The twisting way your mind works isn’t how mine does.

            Meanwhile, while you’ve been jaqing off:

            7 April 2020

            Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has conceded the Provincial Growth Fund should have created more jobs after an attack by a union boss. 

            We’ve disappointed a lot of rural communities that thought the dough would flow much quicker into their communities,” Jones said.

            Jones also opened the door to greater union representation in the way PGF decisions are made, which could lead to more employment-driven proposals. He pointed to issues like consenting which had meant projects had taken longer to get started than they perhaps should have done. 

            Jones famously said that the fund would get the “nephs off the couch” and into jobs, closing the gap in opportunities that opened up between towns and cities.

            But Jones today conceded that this had been difficult. “There are no nephs there are no shovels,” he said of the Waipapa roundabout in Northland. 

            I accept your grovelling apology in advance. Now piss off & troll somebody else. I don’t like you wasting my time. (I’m not that fussed at you wasting somebody else’s. I just skip over those.)

            Reply
    • Probably a bit different. He would stay on the couch if left to do as he pleases, but he actually doesn’t resist rules for work being set up for him, and he seems to enjoying achieving with school work.

      We made it clear last night that Latta’s approach wouldn’t apply here. He was up on time this morning and even started to check emails from school before 9 am, and was working by 9. And is still going – currently listening to live streaming from one of his teachers. He seems to see it as novel and interesting, for now at least.

      But given total choice he would probably still be in bed. Young and immature enough to accept firm guidance. Our aim is to guide him away from becoming a neph on the couch.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  15th April 2020

        Get him to read the Feynman link I posted yesterday and then write a review considering how well or badly his teachers follow Feynman’s principles and learnings. Then think about what if anything he should do about it.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  15th April 2020

          Feynman only teaches at advanced graduate level and then at the best of them Caltech…
          No relevance to a local high school and classes with average ability.
          Science education is a series of steps which applies at graduate level as well as high school, and there are standard steps to follow at the various levels, which may vary over time.
          At the university level probably a common word heard in the corridors of the senior staff is ‘Wrong’. I remember it from my time when a text book was described as wrong on a small issue. We have seen it again with the Covid epidemiology and thats a world wide thing. No a surprise in a way , leading edge stuff is usually ‘blurry’

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  15th April 2020

            You obviously haven’t read the link.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  15th April 2020

              Of course he hasn’t.
              He is frantically googling to try and find a way to undermine any comments people make irrespective of topic ….thus proving how clever he is and how inadequate he is at forming an honest opinion of his…own.
              All posts need to be ‘verified’ by the Duke of Url. 😉

            • Duker

               /  15th April 2020

              Happy Xmas and New year to you too

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  15th April 2020

              If you read it you will discover why your comment is irrelevant.

          • Duker

             /  15th April 2020

            read most of yesterday … Im fan of Feynmans for lots of reasons

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  15th April 2020

              Good. He was a very astute fellow. Obviously had an amazing Dad.

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