Monday, 21 November 2011

The Rise of the Professional Parent

While the focus on ‘problem parents’ has received renewed intensity in the wake of the riots, it is also an expression of a steady trend towards ever-greater scrutiny of parenting. Parenting has become one of the most charged political and cultural subjects of our age. As the evidence about the decisive impact that the quality of parenting has on children’s outcomes continues to grow, parents have come to be seen not just as the cause of many society’s ills but also the key to unlocking positive change such as improved social mobility.

This scrutiny of parenting has led to the idea of a parenting ‘deficit’ and the view that there are a growing number of parents who are incapable. Yet, this focus on parenting skills is not matched by conclusive evidence about a decline in our standards of parenting. It also acts as a distraction it risks diverting our attention away from the mounting pressures which modern society creates for parents. The challenge for policy now is to find the right balance between supporting parents in developing their skills and capabilities and working to lessen the pressures parents face. To do this successfully, a positive framework for supporting parents needs to be created and concrete steps taken towards creating a more family friendly society.

Full report from Family and Parenting Institute can be found here

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