If you don't believe me about this government being ineptly meddlesome, try this post from Bishop Hill by way of support for this argument. He writes:
"Every child at my elder son's nursery has received a leaflet from the Scottish Children's Commissioner or some such. This masterpiece of state-sponsored tosh is to be passed on to their parents. It's a remarkable document. Try this for example:
Love your children
Be affectionate, hug and kiss them
Tell them good things about themselves and others
They will feel more secure and learn how to treat others in a positive way."
OK, so in order to be affectionate to your child, you must hug and kiss them. Am off to try this one out on Ds.
Well, yes, I admit my data pool for my own bit of personal research may be bit skewed. I did suspect that this would happen. His response?
"Euwgh, go away, mother."
Right, so let's just try the next one. I am going to tell him something good about himself and his sister. No, that didn't seem to work.
"What ARE you talking about, mother?"
Oh dear. This doesn't seem to be making him feel more secure. I am beginning to wonder if it might be having the opposite effect as he is looking at me funny and appears to be weighing up the probabilities of me having lost my marbles. I suppose you could regard the last bit of the recommendations as being about right if you happen to think of a trip to the funny farm, courtesy of your children, as being a positive experience.
Not only should one object to the fact that the government appears to be meddling in areas where they are simply not welcome, but they make such an abject mess of it, that it becomes completely unforgiveable.
For a better set of principles, how about trying to respect and facilitate the autonomy of the child, whilst at the same time, not compromising your own. Seek win-win situations. Provide seemingly good and rational explanations for choices and actions. Admit you don't know that you hold the best theory. Hold your own theories tentatively. Seek criticism of your ideas. Seek creative solutions to problems.
ie, for example: accept that some children don't like being hugged and kissed and yet still know they are loved deeply.