Historian: Politicians should do more to protect their children’s mental health مجلس

Prominent politicians must do more to protect the mental health of their children, according to a prominent historian whose research has revealed the enormous pressures faced by those who have fathers in government.

Professor Elizabeth Horen, Head of the Department of Modern History at the University of Leicester, has found a disturbing pattern of mental health and well-being issues in politicians’ children, which have often been linked to their parents’ work and the constant concern that accompanies public life.

“Political kids need their own space, but few get that opportunity in the age of social media accelerating headlines and headlines online,” Horen said. “Politicians are aware of the problem, but are reluctant to discuss it.”

Horen’s work is set to be presented at the British Science Festival in Leicester on Tuesday, and Horen’s work is based on memoirs, media coverage and interviews with senior children of politicians to describe the mental health problems that many have. Despite the obvious perks, some children experience complex emotional issues after being thrust into the public eye during their parents’ choppy jobs, and later when private family stories are told in the memoirs.

Horin Search for the British Academy It comes as the new prime minister, Liz Truss, and her cabinet – who are collectively made up of at least 47 children – take on the gargantuan tasks of guiding the country through an economic crisis, rebuilding the NHS, and navigating a world reshaped by war. in Ukraine.

According to Horen, Truss’ decision to keep her two daughters, Frances, 16, and Liberty, 13, out of the public eye, and not photograph them in front of Number 10, indicates that she’s given careful thought to their privacy. “It protects their mental health,” Hurin said. “Liz Truss seems to understand this fact of political life better than many of her fellow parliamentarians who have been in denial or have preferred to underestimate the cost of a politician’s public job.”

The problem can start long before children are drawn into the spotlight. Carol Thatcher was sent to a private school for girls after her twin brother, Mark, went to boarding school. In Hurren’s report, Carol says she was fired because her mother Margaret’s position was that “there was no point in running a one-child home.”

The report adds that Thatcher’s success left Carol feeling she could never get the degree. Quoting the study, she says, “No one would ever know me for being anything other than Margaret Thatcher’s daughter, so at the end of the day, whatever I did wasn’t good enough.”

Horen has found that many children are made into muses, called out for family photos, or to make political points, such as when John Gummer, the conservative agriculture secretary, fed his four-year-old daughter Cordelia a beef burger during the mad cow disease crisis . . She writes: “Children know how to smile for the camera, but they are expected to remain silent actors on a public stage.”

Horen says the teenage years are often the most dangerous. Politicians’ children can be criticized at school, especially if their parents institute unpopular policies, or get involved in scandals such as affairs or legal irregularities. There are other risks, too: Ewan Blair was 16 when he was arrested in Leicester Square for being “drunk and incapacitated”, while William Straw, son of former Home Secretary Jack Straw, was 17 when he was warned about Selling hemp after a Tabloid bite bad.

With social media, Horen says, a single photo can make news. “The news feed is fast, and once a story comes out, a story is created around you. You don’t want that when you’re a teenager because it’s hard to get rid of that.”

The difficulties children face are not always obvious to their political parents. In 2017, Blair told The Mirror that he once commented to his kids that “it wasn’t that bad” for them, to which they replied, “No, you don’t realize, we used to get a lot of stick.”

Horen says some of the most serious problems arise when politicians publish private family stories in lucrative memoirs soon after they leave office. Since the 1970s, political memos have become more candid and revealing, with politicians raising family problems and discussing their children’s mishaps, failures, and even medical conditions. Combined with politicians posting personal information on social media, she said, children now face a “double whammy”.

“There’s a legacy of being a political kid, and sometimes it doesn’t show up until adulthood when they’re trying to build romantic relationships. They’ve learned to be very vague and not get so caught up that they didn’t understand how they were feeling,” says Horen.

“We need to find solutions to the problems these children are facing, because those public lessons can help new politicians as they enter Parliament.”

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