Is David Cameron right to praise the ‘tiger mother’?

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Posted by: Sue Atkins

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I’m speaking on LBC radio at 10 am today discussing a new push from the Government around helping families to raise happy, confident, resilient children.

I’m always saying that ‘kids don’t come with a handbook’ and one of the most frustrating things about my work with parents is that they seem to think it’s only for those families in trouble.

We all go on courses from marketing to management but we NEVER go on a course to learn skills, techniques or strategies to do the most important job in the world – how to raise happy, confident, resilient children with strong self esteem.

Being the best you can be is a gift that you give your kids.

The government tried before offering vouchers for parenting classes in Boots the Chemist  but the £5m CanParent pilot, which the prime minister set up in three underprivileged areas following the 2011 riots, attracted just 2,956 parents, a fraction of the 20,000 expected. The scheme ended up costing £1,088 per parent, and only 9% of those attending classes were fathers or male partners. However, a study of the trial found high degrees of satisfaction among those who took part.

The government is thought to believe that a major hurdle in attracting participants was the fact that it was seen as a service for the lowest socioeconomic groups. This time the government hopes that if middle-class parents are encouraged to take part, perceptions and attendance from all parts of society will improve.

I’ve been working really hard for the last 10 years trying to break the last taboo in asking for help around raising children.

I’d love to see informal, friendly parenting classes continuing after ante-natal classes which are free from finger pointing, judgement or stigma around learning about how to be a great parent.

A Downing Street source said the idea would be for parenting sessions to have the same popularity among the middle classes as National Childbirth Trust antenatal classes – not easy but hugely valuable as it’s not easy bringing up children – in fact it’s like trying to tame jelly at times !

So Mr. Cameron I’m ready and  would love to get involved in helping.

So what do you think – are you up to for it?

 

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