Friday, 12 November 2010

In For A Penny, In For A Pound…

The coalition's poverty adviser, Frank Field, will call for all children to be given parenting classes at school when he presents a government-commissioned review into poverty to the prime minister later this year.
*sigh*
The theme of Field's review is "how to prevent poor children becoming poor adults".
Stop them being born to people who see them purely as a meal-ticket? No, too simple...
"Being a parent, apart from running the army in Afghanistan, is the most important thing we will ask anyone to do and we assume people get the knowledge by osmosis – and they don't," the former Labour minister said.
Your party destroyed the social fabric of the nation, Frankie-baby. It's a little late to start holding your hands up in horror, isn't it?
A report by the Sutton Trust charity, published last week, showed that poorer children are twice as likely to start school with behavioural problems, and warned that the gap had widened over the past 10 years.
The past ten years. The past ten years...

Hmmm, something about that rings a bit of a bell....
Field interprets those findings as evidence that although the Labour government was successful in reducing the overall number of children living in poverty, parallel work needs to be done on reducing non-financial inequalities.
'We were successful, but we weren't successful!'. Someone tell me again why this chap is considered some sort of super-genius?
Part of the problem was a decline in people's understanding of good parenting, he said.

"There has been a rupturing of the level of parenting skills in my lifetime. There was a collective wisdom about the beneficial effects of tough love – you set boundaries for your children, but you loved them within those boundaries."
There are no boundaries any more. The progressives saw to that. YOUR party saw to that...
"I think it is more difficult to parent now than it was. The pressures on you are greater. It is expected that people, mothers, should work, and rather quickly after birth, even if they are on their own. Postwar housing developments have split up communities. You are bombarded with demands from television about the things that children should have. It puts a much greater pressure on parents. To add to that you may not have had a good role model yourself," he said.
That's why the grown-ups should be in charge. IN CHARGE! Not whining about 'Oh, the TV, the advertising, the peer pressure...'
In recommendations that he will present to the education secretary, Michael Gove, this week, Field will suggest that parenting should be taught as a theme within other subjects – "not as a separate ghetto subject", so students would look, for example, at the development of a child's brain within their science GCSEs.
Great! I'm sure they can fit it in, somewhere.

After all, they aren't spending much time teaching them to read, write and add up, are they? As we can see from the results...

8 comments:

Nick2 said...

Frank Field was the Labour MP nearest to reality re our society & our economic plight in the 1997-2010 NuLab train crash.

I think that he's on board because he was prepared to try to talk truth to Blair & was sacked as a minister because of it. IMO he's also in the coalition in order to try to create an illusion of cross party support if/when really difficult spending decisions are made.

As far as teaching parenting classes, what's the alternative? Classifying (eg) Birmingham as an 'open borstal', walling it in & parachuting in young offenders? Taking all of the children of 'unfit' parents away & let the state directly 'look after' them? All of the alternatives look nasty, but maybe trying to reintroduce parental skills and responsibilities is one, partial solution.

Trevor said...

I've admired Field for a long time but he now seems to have gone native.

Notwithstanding the question of whether the teaching of parenting is possible much less desirable, it's not difficult to envisage the damage that would be wrought on yet another generation of young minds: just think of the vacuous liberal orthodoxies any syllabus is bound to contain.

Disenfranchised of Buckingham said...

Bring back the cane in schools. And the birch for young offenders.

banned said...

"Yes Prime Minister" satirised the idea of Parenting Lessons and Breeding Licenses for those who pass the exam some 25 years ago in an episode called The National Education Service, Sir Humphrey was most enthusiastic.

allcoppedout said...

I think Frank is OK. These problem actually beggar belief when you see them "live". A typical undergrad class even in a decent uni will appal me with their ignorance as much as they encourage me with their decency. We aren't exactly successful at raising the top end. If I nip onto the Everglades, what I find is so disturbing that I can only think Frank's solution is at the drop in the ocean level. I see people smoking heroin in front of their kids, hear of beatings and meet clown housing and social work people who only help with the denials. Back at uni I see MRI scans that show kids with alcoholic fathers scan differently. I wonder what the scanners would produce from the Everglades.
I've just seen an intensive parenting exercise "live". They got the parents taking the kids out on walks. It seemed to work while the parenting team were there. 16 year old now pregnant by wally who beats up her kid brother - parents don't give a shit again. Lessons in schools Frank - get a life!

JuliaM said...

"IMO he's also in the coalition in order to try to create an illusion of cross party support if/when really difficult spending decisions are made."

Yup, I think so too.

Every sleigh ride needs someone to be first overboard when the wolves begin circling, too....

"All of the alternatives look nasty, but maybe trying to reintroduce parental skills and responsibilities is one, partial solution."

The problem is, without first removing them from the home environment - where their bad habits will merely be reinforced - then lessons in school are unlikely to succeed.

And, of course, this is yet another 'sheep-dip' approach, so the inevitable watering-down will occur...

"...it's not difficult to envisage the damage that would be wrought on yet another generation of young minds: just think of the vacuous liberal orthodoxies any syllabus is bound to contain."

Exactly!

"...Sir Humphrey was most enthusiastic."

He was always very good at spotting a fledgling empire waiting to be built, wasn't he?

"These problem actually beggar belief when you see them "live"."

The tales on Insp Gadget's blog are hair-raising enough!

"It seemed to work while the parenting team were there."

Indeed. And this is why, no matter how good the lessons turn out to be, they will be too little, too late, and wasted the minute the kids are back behind their front doors...

Lynne said...

I was bought up to understand and take responsibility for my actions and that some of those actions carried painful consequences. And it was also clearly understood that no meant no. I brought my son up the same way, a method those frigging do-gooders object so strongly too. Well my lad is a credit to the human race, not so those over-indulged, granny bashing oxygen thieves we are supposed to feel sorry for.

JuliaM said...

"I was bought up to understand and take responsibility for my actions and that some of those actions carried painful consequences."

Ditto. A lesson sadly lacking in so many these days...