A recent article in one of the broadsheet newspapers informed us of the government’s desire to provide more support for parents in the form of Parenting Courses or classes. The government’s suggestion was to provide parents with vouchers they could redeem against such classes. The writer of the article gave a rather negative opinion about why we should all be slightly outraged at this. But I feel quite differently about the whole thing, on the one hand I think about it like this; when I wanted to drive a car the law required me to take a series of driving lessons, a theoretical examination and a physical ‘test’. At the end of which an ‘experienced professional’ would decide if I was competent or not. Even then I could not simply drive a car, I must obtain insurance, I had to prove I was healthy and that my eye sight was good enough. And that still wasn’t sufficient, I had to ensure that my car was road worthy by putting it through an MOT, then at last I was ready to go.
Why then are we affronted, up in arms or angry about the fact that the government views parenthood at least as important as owning a car. Now you may be thinking that the law requires us to be participate in all of the above training and lessons because without that we may endanger the life of another person. Do we actually want to consider how many young lives are lost or damaged by poor or ignorant parenting. Being a parent is the most important and responsible job any person can have, it is enormously difficult and babies do not come into the world with a manual. I have enjoyed my role as a Licensed Parent Coach and I believe that the parents who have participated in the sessions have done so simply because they had more questions than answers and they had the confidence to seek answers. Parent sessions can be enormously beneficial, allowing parents to air their views, concerns and challenges in a non-threatening environment. These are wonderful opportunities to form support groups and make new friends. I don’t think there are many parents who would say, ‘No thanks,I don’t need any help’