‘Child labour’ in the house

Daily Trust - - HOME FRONT -

There’s ap­par­ently a new se­cret to get your child to be­have at the din­ner ta­ble - cut up their food and they’ll re­lax. This is ac­cord­ing to a new study that found that when chil­dren had to bite foods with their front teeth - as op­posed to eat­ing food that had been cut - they were row­dier.

Re­searchers found the chil­dren were up to twice as ag­gres­sive when eat­ing chicken on the bone.

The new Cor­nell Univer­sity study was pub­lished in Eat­ing Be­hav­iors

It found that when 6-10 year old chil­dren ate foods they had to bite with their front teeth - such as drum­sticks, whole ap­ples, or corn on the cob - they were row­dier than when these foods had been cut.

‘They were twice as likely to dis­obey adults and twice as ag­gres­sive to­ward other kids,’ said Brian Wansink, Pro­fes­sor and Di­rec­tor of the Cor­nell Food and Brand Lab.

Dur­ing a 4-H sum­mer camp, a youth or­gan­i­sa­tion in the US, 12 el­e­men­tary (pri­mary school) chil­dren were ob­served for this two­day study.

On the first day, half of the chil­dren were seated at one pic­nic ta­ble and were given chicken on the bone that had to be bit­ten into with their front teeth

The other half were seated at a nearby pic­nic ta­ble and given chicken cut into bite-sized pieces.

On the sec­ond day, the con­di­tions were re­versed.

Each day, two camp coun­sel­lors in­structed the chil­dren to stay in­side a cir­cle with a ra­dius of nine feet (2.7 me­tres).

Both meal ses­sions were video­taped and eval­u­ated by trained coders who in­di­cated how ag­gres­sive or com­pli­ant the chil­dren were, and if they ex­hib­ited any atyp­i­cal be­hav­iors, such as jump­ing and stand­ing on the pic­nic ta­bles.

Re­sults from both the coun­sel­lors and coders’ ob­ser­va­tions in­di­cated that when chil­dren were served chicken on the bone, they acted twice as ag­gres­sively and were twice as likely to dis­obey adults than when they were served bite-sized pieces of chicken.

Cap­tion: The study found that chil­dren who ate chicken on the bone were more rowdy and ag­gres­sive to other chil­dren

The study found that chil­dren who ate chicken on the bone were more rowdy and ag­gres­sive to other chil­dren

The chil­dren who were served chicken on the bone also left the cir­cle with­out per­mis­sion more fre­quently and were more likely to jump and stand on the pic­nic ta­bles.

Along with Wansink, the re­search was con­ducted with Guido Camps, now at Wa­genin­gen Univer­sity and Re­search Cen­ter; Francesca Zam­pollo, now at Auck­land Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy; and Mit­suru Shimizu, now at South­ern Illi­nois Univer­sity Ed­wardsville.

In con­clu­sion, the re­searchers note that when chil­dren need to bite into food with their front teeth, they are more likely to get rowdy.

‘If you want a nice quiet, re­lax­ing meal with your kids, cut up their food,’ ac­cord­ing to Wansink.

He had dif­fer­ent bot­tom line ad­vice for school lunch­room staff: ‘If drum­sticks, ap­ples, or corn on the cob is on the menu, duck!’

Culled from Mail On­line

Child labour is of­ten seen as mak­ing chil­dren do ex­ces­sive work for pay­ment but hardly as­so­ci­ated with what hap­pens within the fam­ily. The ‘child labour’ within the fam­ily is seen as a train­ing, with the be­lief that when the chil­dren grow up they would not find it dif­fi­cult to do what is re­quired of them in terms of tak­ing care of the house, do­ing laun­dry and so on.

Par­ents, es­pe­cially moth­ers can def­i­nitely make their chil­dren to help with some chores in the house, what is how­ever de­plorable is where moth­ers make lit­tle chil­dren as young as five or six –yearold to do al­most all the house­hold chores.

Such lit­tle girls are made to sweep the house, do wash­ing up, and wash their clothes or younger ones’ clothes. They do this while the moth­ers watch films or are just sit­ting down.

This hap­pens in both ru­ral and ur­ban ar­eas. Re­cently I saw one lit­tle girl from the ru­ral ar­eas who was very ac­tive in a friend’s house. She is about six year old, though she may be older, as people pointed out that the wa­hala such chil­dren suf­fer can stunt their growth.

Any­way, I learnt that in the vil­lage she did all the work at home. She would go very early to the stream, which is very far to fetch wa­ter, and then she would come and sweep the house, do some wash­ing and take care of her younger ones, even bathing them. “What about the mother, what does she do?” I asked, per­plexed. “The mother is around of course, but in vil­lages such chil­dren are used to this work,” the woman an­swered.

I asked whether the girl used to at­tend Is­lamiyya School in the vil­lage, but she re­sponded that the girl’s fa­ther said the girl had so much to do that by the time she fin­ished, around 6.00 p.m. it would be the time the Is­lamiyya closes.

How could par­ents sub­ject such small chil­dren to the hard­ship of work­ing all day?

That is why such par­ents think noth­ing of send­ing these small chil­dren to work as house helps, af­ter all, they too en­slave them, so to speak.

If this ‘child labour’ is said to be the norm in the ru­ral ar­eas, what about in the ur­ban ar­eas? It is def­i­nitely not the norm, but many women do it, and if you draw their at­ten­tion that the work is too much for young chil­dren, they would say they are ‘train­ing’ them.

In those days, even in learn­ing how to cook, small chil­dren were bought small pots and given money oc­ca­sion­ally by par­ents or el­der broth­ers to buy in­gre­di­ents and cook. The food is not the house­hold meal and it was ok.

But now you see very lit­tle chil­dren be­ing made to cook meal for the house­hold while the mother is around or may not be around.

In fact in some houses when girls are on hol­i­days, es­pe­cially those from board­ing schools, they would be made to do ev­ery work in the house. In other words the moth­ers would han­dover the house­hold chores to them, in­clud­ing cook­ing.

And I thought they were on hol­i­days, when they are sup­posed to rest and en­joy stay­ing at home. If I were treated like this by my par­ents I won­der if I would have looked for­ward to hol­i­days, know­ing the or­deal that awaited me.

One day I heard one Is­lamic cleric chid­ing par­ents, he said, “You have turned your daugh­ters into your house girls.”

In places where chil­dren at­tend the tra­di­tional makaran­tar allo, that is not as for­mal as the Is­lamiyya one, chil­dren as young as six go to the school with their younger ones strapped to their backs.

How could a child learn while busy look­ing af­ter the younger one? It is ap­par­ent that the moth­ers only want the chil­dren to look af­ter the ba­bies or tod­dlers for them, but not for them to learn.

There was one makaran­tar allo, where the mal­lam pre­vented chil­dren from go­ing with ba­bies or other small chil­dren that can­not learn any­thing, which is good. They should stay at home and be looked af­ter by their moth­ers, in­stead of the moth­ers turn­ing the school into child care cen­tres.

In the fight against this ‘child labour’ by par­ents, I urge fa­thers and male guardians to do some­thing about it.

Some may say, ‘is it not my child, so I will treat her as I like and no­body can tell me other­wise.’

It may be your child, but the child is not your slave and as a re­spon­si­ble adult you are sup­posed to take care of your own house, not turn it over to your small child.

There­after, the ‘child labour’ from within the house is some­thing the so­ci­ety needs to tackle, see­ing the anom­aly is not only where the chil­dren are in paid labour.

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