Monday, 16 August 2010

Parenting Classes

The latest idea from Frank Field - brought in to the Coalition to do the 'unthinkable' that he was prevented from doing by Brown, so rumour has it - is for a GCSE in 'Parenting'. Also in the Independent, Andy Smith writes on Frank Field, who he states is "a collaborator with a clear conscience". 

A GCSE in Parenting? WTF is this? It will no doubt devolve into a course taught by those PC correct, left-wing formers of social opinion and will involve all the weirdo theories for which that group are renowned. Step back 50 years and ask yourself who taught those of us approaching adulthood how to be a parent. No-one actually, we used the example that our parents as role models had provided us.

Following that example through - and hereafter I 'generalise' - it is possible to see that as the standard of education and instillation of discipline has suffered, so has the standard of role model been lowered. And who exactly has - to be blunt - buggered around with our education system for ideological ends? Yup, our politicians, starting with Anthony Crosland in 1965 under Harold Wilson. Crosland is reported by his wife to have said: "If it's the last thing I do, I'm going to destroy every fucking grammar school in England. And Wales. And Northern Ireland." A sentiment which illustrates the left's hatred of what they see as 'elitism' and a characteristic which it can be argued has permeated every Labour administration since, when considering education.

To return to the 50s, it is accepted that boarding school is not everyone's idea of an education, however bear this in mind. Having attended one, due to the fact my parents both worked overseas, I learnt a form of discipline I would never have learnt at home. Due to being subjected to a 'regimented' daily schedule, come holiday time I valued my freedom much more and, more importantly, I valued my parents and what they did for me, much more. Lessons were 9-4.30, with half-days Wednesday and Saturday for sports, with an additional 2 hours 'prep' each evening. After 'prep' some teachers held voluntary 'discussion groups' in the course of which anything and everything was discussed and which ensured you had to be able to 'prove your argument', or point of view. Now that was an education!

Until the political class again realise that our schools should be a system for instilling knowledge: history, geography, to write and speak our language correctly, to think and reason, etc etc, the standard of parenting will sink even lower. Look around you when next out - look at the children of today and then consider that out of them comes the next generation of parents - and more importantly - the future leaders of our country and it can only fill you with complete doom and gloom. 

Until the state desists in dictating to parents what type of education system they can have, until parents locally can decide what type of schools they want for their children and the curricula to be taught, until parents have the right to hire and fire their teachers, nothing will improve.

A simplified view of our present problem, maybe - but one that bears serious consideration!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe some or a majority of the present generation do need parenting classes. I'm 60 and I can't think of anyone from my boyhood who was from a 'one parent family' apart from deaths of one or both parents. Learning by today's example might not be tha goood!

Mrs Rigby said...

Sad to say, but a whole generation has grown to maturity in the last 13 years, many have only learned to demand 'rights', ignoring the need to take personal responsibility for their actions - which includes becoming parents.

If parenting classes bring a dose of reality and instil a sense of responsibility then, perhaps, it won't be a bad thing because all too often when children become parents it results in tears - and society as a whole suffers the consequences of young people being raised without responsible, or respectable, adult role models. It's a vicious downward spiral.

Having passed through some particularly rough areas over the past few weeks we realise we, and our children, are fortunate to understand the meaning of the word, "No!" and the need for a proper bedtime (or at least a time to be indoors) for under 16s.

Witterings From Witney said...

As you say Mrs. R, it is a vicious downward spiral!

"rough areas" - so you went down to London and visited Parliament?

And unfortunately, by mentioning 13 years, methinks your maths is 'slightly out', but I take your point.......

Anonymous said...

Its easy to bring up a responsible child but i askwhat method is used to produce that? much more difficult to parent in such a way which involves the child's future happiness as well as responsibility.. Why are so many people seeking mental health support? Because of punitive parenting practices that i suspect, and add not all, most 60 year olds today used to use. Parenting classes that involve boundaries given in such a way that empowers the child is no bad thing and needed if the parents of the parents simply shouted the child down...