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Who is responsible for our kids?

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‘Prevent’, ‘Safeguarding’, ‘Early Intervention’, ‘Child Obesity Intervention’ are but some of the UK Government’s action plans that charge public servants with looking out for the myriad of warning signs in our nation’s youth population.

But how much reliance is society placing on our over-stretched public sector in order to prevent our young from becoming fat jihadists who struggle at school and have a penchant for burgers?  Who is responsible for our kids?

Whilst the general public bemoans the mistakes of social workers, teachers, healthcare professionals and others; and as the media contentedly rolls out the latest guffaw over how a pupil’s use of the phrase ‘eco-terrorism’ results in a chat with Special Branch – or worst still when an ‘avoidable tragedy’ is laid bare for all to see – at what point do parents and guardians step up to the plate and accept some responsibility?

If my kids become radicalised; it’s my fault – I haven’t talked to them enough.

If my kids become fat; it’s my fault – I haven’t managed their diet or healthcare well enough.

If my kids are rude and arrogant; it’s my fault – I haven’t brought them up to be polite and respectful.

If my kids fail at school; it’s my fault – I haven’t impressed upon them the importance of education.

If my kids break the law; it’s my fault – I haven’t taught them virtue, morality and respect for others.

If my kids become embroiled in a ‘sexting’ scandal; it’s my fault – I haven’t taken the time to discuss the perils of social media with them, or the importance of respect and consent.

If my kids don’t turn out to be rounded individuals (balanced – not body shape) then it isn’t the fault of teachers, nurses, police constables, vicars, imams, phone companies, internet service providers or agony aunts – its mine.

Whilst government interventions are of value, they must be a second or third line of defence; the first line of defence rests with parents (mums, dads, grandparents, foster parents, social workers, carers and extended families).

This is a utopian vision I know – and many kids out there don’t have the support of a traditional modular family; but I’d rather see tax payers’ money invested in mentoring programmes – not ‘interventions’ based on sound-bites for the media.

How would you ensure all children receive these vital conversations as they grow?  Who should facilitate them?  Perhaps you have a different view on intervention programmes.  Why not let everyone know in the comments section below?

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Comments 5

15 October 2015 Reply

We’ve had a comment from one of our readers; and although they would like to remain anonymous it is important that we add it for the sake of balance. Although the intention of the article was not to assert any absolutes over the effectiveness of parenting; rather to make the point that as a society we must not rely on government initiatives, the point the reader would like to make is valid and is as follows:

No matter how hard we try sometimes a child will reject their good upbringing and thus their behaviour does not always reflect the values they have been taught no matter what the responsible parents do. Thus it is not always the parents fault.

We hope this addresses any slights in the article.

Stay Furious!

14 February 2016 Reply

Agree entirely and shared! To address the comment you posted above on behalf of ‘Anon’: How do you allow the progression to the point where a child “completely rejects their upbringing”? Surely, if this behavioural problem is fully addressed early enough (I think the term is ‘foundation years’) then any rejection should dissipate? I very much appreciate that having a difficult child requires significant emotional investment and a great deal of time and attention, made even more difficult when only a single parent is involved in the child’s upbringing. However, as parents, single or not, it is OUR utmost responsibility to ensure the little people we bring into this big bad world have our undivided love and support and as parents we are charged with ensuring this happens no matter the circumstances. Just sayin…..

16 February 2016 Reply

Hi Andy – thanks for sharing; it’s really appreciated. I have to be honest, and state that I find it hard to disagree with any of the points you raise. I’m in total agreement with you. One of our readers wrote to us expressing a viewpoint, but did not wish to reveal their identity on this matter (which I can understand). As such, we posted the comments on their behalf in the hope that it would engender some good debate. Thankfully it looks like it has achieved its aim. I’d love to hear from others on this issue to get a better understanding on wider opinions….

9 March 2016 Reply

Spot on! I love it.

Veteran educator

10 March 2016 Reply

Thanks, Island Girl! Glad you agree!

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