There has been some recent criticism in the plans of the government to offering parenting classes for new parents. Some people have said it’s the Nanny State telling us what to do and how to do it. I have personally sat and thought about this and listened to both sides of the argument and have to say that I disagree I don’t believe this action is the state being overbearing at all, and in all honesty I think it’s a jolly good idea.
Now yes go back 30 or 40 years and lots of people lived round the corner from their mum or another relative who could pass on their wisdom about what to do and how to do it, when it comes to looking after a baby. But now we are a more socially mobile society and out of all of my friends in their late 20’s early 30’s none actually live near their parents. So that safety net is not really there in a lot of cases today.
We don’t hear people complaining about anti-natal classes for pregnant women and their partners, and this should really be seen in that vein; it’s a continuation of help for parents after they have been born. Now I accept that there will probably be a lot of people who don’t actually use it because they will either look up the information themselves in a book or online; but there will be some people out there who wouldn’t think to do that and they are the parents that we need to help.
In any large town and city there is normally a housing estate where there is a lot of social deprivation and it’s these people that this program appears to be primarily aimed at. The kind of families who due to poor parenting skills and alike are the ones that social services inevitably end up getting involved with which leads on to costing the state a fair bit of money.
So if we can get in there early and educate these people and give them the skills they need to look after their children properly then in the long run it’s beneficial not only for the State but also for society. So I can’t really see how people can think that teaching people how to be a parent and raise their children properly can be a bad thing?
Drawing on the analogy David Cameron made, we make sure people know how to use a car before we give them a license to drive one. So why not teach people the basics about parenting when they become one? If we can teach people how to raise children so that they respect their parents, themselves and other people then we all win. Yes it’s not going to be an overnight thing but the sooner we start with it then the sooner we will see the results.