Monday, November 13, 2006

Whose Fault is It Anyway?

This is preposterous. I admit I haven't read it very calmly, but I'll tell you why parents have lost confidence in parenting (if indeed they have).

Firstly, we shut children away in artificial peer groups for most of their young lives so that they rarely have prolonged contact with children of other ages, and even more rarely get closely involved in caring for younger children. Most school pupils grow up ignorant of the genuine needs of children since this subject cannot be taught effectively in a classroom. And most of them have no idea how to parent in the modern world in which automatic deference is thankfully no longer an option. They struggle to return to the good old days since they imagine that the only other route is violent anarchy and simply don't get it that you can find a way of appealing to the reason in children.

Secondly, but just as importantly, parents feel the ever present spirit of the state peering over our shoulders every second of the day, attempting to ensure that we do this, do that, get 5 portions, achieve, stay safe, ensure other children are emotionally healthy blah, blah, blah. It is enough to unnerve any parent when coupled with the thought that there could be a completely unaccountable family court waiting at the end of all this.

It really does almost make sense to think "better just to give up thinking for oneself, making inevitable mistakes and then risking being held accountable in terrible ways and with terrible consequences. Yup, better just hand over all responsibility to the state and let them get on with it".

How dare Ms Hughes blame families for the problem. It is the state which is hobbling families and it needs to back off.

(HT: not quite sure, but thanks! Am off to find some diazepam.)


Anonymous said...

"National Academy for Parenting Practitioners"

o_O What sci fi novel are they getting their inspiration from?

See how the TV shows contributed to spread the whole idea that parents are all desperate?

I haven't lost any confidence, on the contrary.

Anonymous said...

HT--I think that would be me. You're welcome. :)

I thought it sounded like an excuse for gaining mmore govt. involvement into the lives of families.
But I'm not in the UK.

Carlotta said...

Think that is exactly what it is, Annette. Fits horribly well with their agenda for HEors atm :(

Think we may try to join you, if this all comes to pass!

Anonymous said...

It's my suscipion that it's just a matter of time before US hsers come under the gun. I have shared the link with you about what types of info that school districts here in the US are collecting on students in their disctricts. Although, hsers maybe exempt from the data collection in many cases if there is no connection to the public school; I have good reason to believe that slowly hsers are being pulled into it (here a little, there a little). The popularity of public virtual schools among children who were formerly homeschooled is imho, is also a factor I think to what's coming.

Becky said...

I saw this article, and then the one the next day or so about nursery rhyme classes (shudder).

My thoughts from another country for the two cents they are worth: most parents don't really feel this way, but Mme. Minister makes these pronouncements because it is one more step toward the government taking charge. Though, for another two cents, I think that Mme. Minister and her cronies don't have any better ideas about rearing children properly.

If you talk enough about parents (or anyone else for that matter) being incompetent, it's not too long before parents (or anyone else for that matter) think they are incompetent, too. And then the state can step in. Gah.

Carlotta said...

Dear Annette,

I am so sorry to hear that. George Bush in the Economist made nice reading in 2004:

"George Bush has tried hard to keep home-schoolers on his side. During the 2000 campaign, he said: “In Texas we view home-schooling as something to be respected and something to be protected. Respected for the energy and commitment of loving mothers and loving fathers. Protected from the interference of government.” As president, he has held several receptions for home-schooled children in the White House."

Looks as if he could do with a bit of a reminder about where his support really comes from!

I do completely agree that the virtual school issue is a grave problem for the future of independent education. I see that happening here in Bedfordshire.

Carlotta said...

Dear Becky,

My thoughts exactly.