Life at 7
Tuesday, 8.30pm, ABC1 This is Seven Up! for us, the start of our own approximation of the famous British series looking at a range of people as they move through life. Tonight presents Australians at seven as their personalities start to shape their lives and they begin to acquire, or not, the emotional intelligence they will need to make their way in the world. Thus one little girl knows what she wants but is a bit hazy on compromise, a talent her peers recognise she will need. As a psychologist suggests, children don’t need to be popular; they find happiness in sustaining friendships. There is an enormous amount to be optimistic about with many of these youngsters. One quiet but creative introvert may not say much but understands and empathises with the needs of others — which helps, given he is a quintuplet. Other kids in this (as in earlier) episodes have parents who have separated and they suffer from a lack of stability. Some come from homes that just don’t have much luck. One boy has a new brother with serious developmental disabilities. Other findings are interesting because of the way parents respond. An experiment that demonstrates differences in the way boys and girls react to setbacks and organise themselves is questioned by one set of parents who do not specify gender roles. This pair may be defying biology but they are also excellent role models for their children, seeking to better themselves through study. The family does not have much money but the children are being provided examples of life’s opportunities. It makes for a stark contrast with the future of a boy who never sees his dad. At seven, people skills are important but they do not rate compared with a child’s need for the love of their parents and their need for stable homes. What happens next? It will be a few years before we see them again, but here’s hoping.