Is childhood in crisis? What do an increase in serious crime amongst the young, family break-up and consumer pressure mean for our idea of childhood? Can the computer satisfy the imagination of our young? How do we develop our children's sense of right and wrong in an ever changing moral climate? Can we any longer afford to let them play their way into the adult world?
Free Thinking brings together a panel of writers, historians, youth professionals and younger voices to discuss challenging perspectives on modern childhood.
Add your own ABC of Childhood
The Free Thinking audience sent in words or short phrases to build up a lexicon to define modern childhood. Thank you to everyone who contributed. We're no longer accepting new suggestions.
To discuss "Whatever happened to childhood?" please visit the Arts & Ideas topic on the Radio 3 message board.
A is for...
- Adventure in every form
- Asking questions
- All the different ways to skin a cat
- Adventures, mindfulness uncensored
B is for...
- Bringing strays home
- Belonging, lovingly unfettered
C is for...
- Critical faculty nurtured; Curious.
- More cake... please
- Creativity, imagine running wild
D is for...
- Dirty rascal
- Daring to be an independent child
E is for...
- Energetic; Possessing emotional intelligence
- Embracing change
F is for...
- Feelings acknowledged.
- Free play and Free thought
- Fairy tales
- Fun of Freedom, simply being me
G is for...
- Getting into trouble ... and out again
- Going places, down the Garden, to the park
H is for...
- Having a go
- Helping adults make sense of it all
- Having your own way
- Horror movies, scared witless in the dark
I is for...
- Innocent of cynicism
- Intrinsically motivated
- "In a minute"
- Indignation, who do you think I am?!
J is for...
- "Just for once in your life!"
- Just eating pancakes swamped in raspberry Jam
K is for...
- King of your castle
- Kids united, all for one and one for all
L is for...
- Love, plain and simple
- Love of Learning, not necessarily at school
M is for...
- Milk and MySpace
- Managing risk
- Being in the Moment
- my Mum, don't say a word against her
N is for...
- Negotiating boundaries
O is for...
- Ooops! not again!
- Optimism - things will be OK
P is for...
- A child's perspective
- A room which looks like a pig sty
- the Possibilities of another day
Q is for...
- A quest into the unknown
- Queries, Questions, the why, who, how of youth
R is for...
- Respectful of others.
- Risk taking.
- Reaching out for what Really is the truth
S is for...
- Supported and encouraged
- Starring in the game that you and I made up
T is for...
- Time and Space
- Tears and Tantrums when our Team's the runner up
U is for...
- Undecided about goals, maybe.
- Unanswered questions
- the Unexpected and wondering what to do
V is for...
- Valuing your own voice
- the Virtual world all of us escape to
W is for...
- Seeing the wood despite the trees
- Wondering what the future holds
X is for...
- Xray play; holding a torch under your hand to see the bones. Xray glasses!
- Xylophones and discovering lovely sounds...
Y is for...
- remembering what it feels like to be Young
Z is for...
- a Zillion ways to stay well, be safe, have fun