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Parents are bringing up children who 'lack discipline and moral boundaries'!!


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Parents are bringing up children who 'lack discipline and moral boundaries', says teachers' leader


By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 7:03 PM on 30th July 2008




A decline in parenting skills has led to a generation of children without moral boundaries fuelling ill-discipline in school, a teacher's leader has declared.

Philip Parkin warned that teachers are increasingly forced to take on the role of bringing up children because parents too often pander to whims and demands for new toys and gadgets.

He blamed the increasing commercialisation of childhood, long working hours, the decline of traditional family structures and the "shortening of the length of many relationships".

In an impassioned address, Mr Parkin, general secretary of the teachers' union Voice, said child-rearing skills may need to become part of the secondary school curriculum to break the cycle of poor parenting.

article-1039762-05CA062B0000044D-195_468x286.jpg Father helps children: Kind of example Philip Parkin, head of teachers' union Voice, says is missing in today's society

In a keynote speech to members, he said: "Schools are being required to take on more and more of the responsibilities that rightly belong to parents; and to provide more of the stability in children's lives which should be provided by families.

"There is also a perception that, in general, the skills of parents are declining as one generation succeeds another."

He said the "character of childhood" had changed significantly in 30 years due to new family structures, "the emphasis on parents going out to work and the consequent perception of the reduced value and worth of the role of full-time parent".

Meanwhile a modern pre-occupation with celebrity and consumer pressures were leading to children growing up more quickly.

The effects on schools could be seen in the form of "low-level disruption", "cheek" and "inattention".







"In my last 10 or 15 years in school I saw a significant decline in parenting standards," said Mr Parkin, who was deputy head at Old Clee Junior School until Grimsby until two years ago.

"Somehow we have got to break this downward spiral of parenting skills."

He said he had "sympathy" for today's parents who have to cope with more pressures than in the past.

"It was much easier being a parent when I was a parent back in the 1970s and '80s than it is now," he said.

"The commercialisation of children is far greater and parents have got far more to deal with now than I did as a parent 25 years ago."

But he added that the blame for rising indiscipline must lie with parents as well as magazines who promoted inappropriate dress and advertisers which used children as marking opportunities.

"Respect for each other and care for each other, the sense of community we had, the community which cares for its children, I think that has been significantly eroded," he said.

"More and more people are self-centred individuals rather than community minded and are not prepared to share the pleasure of bringing up children."

Surveys had shown that one third of adults believed children's moral values to be just as strong as their own generation's, which was "worrying", he said.

"If successive generations of parents become less skilled at the job then what is learnt becomes increasingly diluted as time goes by," he said.

Mr Parkin warned that in some cases, poor parenting took the form of failing to give children a meal before they left for school and forcing young children to be "latch-key kids", sometimes looking after younger siblings single-handedly.

But Mr Parkin accused ministers of making the problem worse by emphasising parents' rights rather than their responsibilities.

Schools were increasingly asked to take on duties unrelated to education including stopping children becoming obese, ensuring the speak properly, preventing gang membership and tackling underage drinking.

This was creating a generation of adults who were over-dependent on the state.

"Why are schools being asked to do this? Why aren't parents being asked to take on these responsibilities?" he warned.

"It worries me that the more you do for people, the less responsibility they will take for themselves - that the transfer of responsibility becomes complete and the expectations upon parents reduce."

His intervention at his 38,000-strong union's annual conference in Daventry follows claims by the Government's discipline tsar, Sir Alan Steer, attacked a "greedy culture" that was contributing to youth violence.

Meanwhile Barbara Wilding, the chief constable of South Wales, has said gangs are substitute families for too many children.

A Department for Children spokesman said: "We want teachers to focus on what they do best – teaching.

"Of course children can't do well at school unless they have the support they need at home."

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