Parents ‘powerless to bring up their children’ | UK News | The Observer

12 Nov

Many parents have lost confidence in how to bring up their children properly and feel inadequate, isolated and unsupported in coping with the pressures of modern family life, the government has warned. Mothers and fathers often feel ‘disempowered’ as parents, and find it particularly difficult to enforce rules so their child does not misbehave, according to Beverley Hughes, the Minister for Children and Families.

Source: Parents ‘powerless to bring up their children’ | UK News | The Observer
First let me say that I’m not buying into a kind of “Daily Mail” alarmist, “oh my God-our children are out of control and society is crumbling” bullshit. We’re talking about a minority here, although possibly an increasing one. And to a certain extent I’m being deliberately provocative.
So why would this be? Could it be because parents are concentrating on other things, rather than bringing up their children?
I’m not talking about parents that go out to work. I realise that people have to make a living. What I mean is that when parents are at home are they spending their time raising their children? Or are they so self-obsessed that all they’re worried about is their own needs and if that that means parking the children in front of some mindless cack on the T.V. or turning a blind eye when they’re roaming the streets shoplifting, tying fireworks to cats and gobbing at people, then so be it.
We’ve all read the horror stories about children pushed out of the door in the mornings and left to their own devices – “Get out from under my feet. Go out and play!” With no boundaries or regulation set on their behaviour children will grow up to do exactly as they please with no thought or regard for the consequences of the actions or for effect they have on others. And what happens when children like this reach child-rearing age and have kids of their own? Will they ensure that their offspring grow up with any kind of social conscience? Will they hell! They’ve never considered anyone’s needs of feelings other than their own and they won’t start with their own children.
By the law of averages not every child will grow up to be an “‘orrible little scroat”. You’ll get a fair proportion of the kids growing up to be decent people but with no parenting skills at all because they were shown none when they were growing up. Hence the problem – reasonable people with no clue how to set boundaries for the kids or how to enforce those that they do set.
When did this vicious cycle start? Although there’s always been “disaffected youth”, it only seemed to seep into the public consciousness that children were starting to run out of control in the late 70s and early 80’s. This suggests to me that the parents of children who were born in the late 60’s and early 70’s may have started the rot. Could it be that the Hippies are to blame? Anti-establishment, anti-authority and stoned out of their minds, what did they teach their children? And what have their children taught theirs?
When you have a child you have a duty to parent. Yes, go out to work if you must but when you get home – parent! Interact with your children, teach them how to behave, to respect other people before they expect respect themselves. If this means you can’t go out to the pub/club/whatever – tough! If you want a full social calendar – don’t have kids. if you want to concentrate on your own wants and needs – don’t have kids. If you want kids – parent, even if it means learning how to.
(This post will also appear at Solid Gone, my personal blog.)

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One Response to “Parents ‘powerless to bring up their children’ | UK News | The Observer”

  1. Doris November 14, 2009 at 11:05 am #

    Would three years later be considered too long to leave a comment?!So this is where you are hanging out Steg ;-)Now, on this subject which is close to my heart I have to say that there are elements of the original Observer article I actually agree with! Just lately and with son finally getting to the "teen" years even though he is 15 I have felt it very hard to enforce some sense of discipline. And would like to see more readily available help with parenting. However, to be fair, I am being very hard on myself and this is partly to do with my own issues rather anything specific to parenting, and he is actually not that bad. Just not up to my expected standards.True enough Steg that there are parents out there who are more interested in themselves and should get their act in order but I don't know there is anything in the pattern whether it is as a result of the hippy generation. I rather think it is a case of there has always been crap parents and crap parenting or lack of it whatever the family make-up.Interesting what Lord Matt says about dealing with the outside bodies as the father and not accepting being ignored. I agree that there are patterns of behaviour that need to be re-written ….. my dearest Mr Doris is not the biological father of our two children but he is the best parent they could ever have and frequently deals with outside bodies concerning the kids. We have the added anomaly that one of the kids looks visually different to both of us which makes any outside body blink twice at our family make-up but Mr Doris is so blase and gets on with it that they just have to too. So I think fathers do need to just get on with it.And with what Kate is saying about single parent families I quite agree – I was a single parent for eight years and in the time had two lovely children who would be a credit to anyone. And yet single parents are damned as if the troubles of the youth of today are all our fault. Unfortunately the teen years take their toll and this is where we could do with more support. I took parenting classes at the beginning of my daughter's teen years which were invaluable but not the panacea I had hoped because growing up can take an emotional toll of a child despite what I tried, but at least the classes helped me cope at the time. But I had access to them because son was younger and I had access to health visitors. But there comes a point were it feels like you are out on your own and even though I had the experience of one child growing through those teenage years each child is different and these are a whole 'nother set of issues.So Steggy – when are you going to write something new? 🙂

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