Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Our government has some good ideas about bringing up children

Or then again, perhaps not.

I am grateful to JuliaM over at Ambush Predator for this story.

The government has warned parents against giving moral guidance. Well, that's the way the Daily Mail puts it. What the leaflets actually say is 'Discussing your values with your teenagers will help them to form their own. Remember though, that trying to convince them of what's right and wrong may discourage them from being open.' To be honest, I can't disagree with that - but surely responsible parenting does sometimes involve trying to convince your teenager of what's right and wrong. And if teenagers are not open, what's new? Even the most well-behaved and responsible teenagers frequently keep their thoughts to themselves.

And then there is the way that the government wants to tackle teenage pregnancy by making sex education compulsory in primary schools. If you believe that will be effective, I suspect that you are being a tad naive. As JuliaM says "So, telling them about sex and contraception isn’t working. So, let’s tell even more of them. That’ll work…" And it will mean less time spent on maths and English and things that might actually do their education some good.

And the government don't just have exciting plans to mess up education further, they also have exciting ways of spending your money. "The attempt to recruit parents to give state-approved advice to their children is backed by the production of leaflets, to be available in chemists' shops. There will also be a £530,000 handout to the fpa - once known as the Family Planning Association - to provide training for parents who want to advise their children on sex."

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