State-sponsored parenting classes???! Whatever next??!

Parenthood, parenting


Yes that was the sound of my brain falling out of my ear in disbelief at the recent news that our Prime Minister, David Cameron, wants all families to enrol in state-backed parenting classes so that they can glean parenting tips about how to raise their children properly.

I know I am a little late in getting this post out…please do excuse me but I was busy….PARENTING (which, eherm, obviously comes first before writing my parenting blog)!

So what exactly is my beef with this? Gosh…how long have you got? I’ll try to keep this parenting blog rant short and to the point starting with…


Call me old fashioned but seriously, being a parent is supposed to be instinctive. Nobody really knows what they are doing, but all it takes is some COMMON SENSE and learning by trial and error along the way, along with a general GOOD ATTITUDE.

We all know that reading MOST books (not all, because there are a few I have read I would set apart from that)  does very little to help us in our parenthood mission. What are classes going to do? If people can’t be bothered to have the sense to try and make an effort in working out how best to parent, is a class really going to give them that golden epiphany moment they need?

On top of that, when did the world become such a sad and messed up place that parents need to be incentivised to even attend a parenting class in the first place through a voucher system?  That parenting advice needed a little sprucing up so that it was deemed to be “socially normal”. Errrr excuse me did I miss something but when did parenting advice become socially abnormal? Even in the most deprived parts of the world it is the most normal thing in the world.


Excuse me, that was just me spitting my tea all over my laptop as I read that attending parenting classes should be made to be aspirational. WHAT IS THIS FOLLY? Aspirational? Learning how to parent your children well should not be an aspiration, like some sort of career you hope to be able to attain on day – it should be a given that you strive towards.

I say that if we are now having to entice parents to classes to learn to how to parent their children, then you might as well be done with it and start handing out licenses to people who are only worthy of parenting, before they can be one. Probably just as well I have nothing to do with Parliament then.

Rant over.

What do you think about the proposals? Are you for…or against?


  1. Completely agree – although there were so many things I learnt on my teacher training degree (early years focused) that I thought ‘wow, every parent should be given this kind of info, not just because I’m learning to be a teacher’. Since then I’ve come across lots of parents during parent evenings or progress meetings where I have passed on certain info and they have felt similar in that if they’d known they’d have done things differently.
    I am hoping the government aren’t referring to the more instinctive parts of parenting but the bits that to some of us seem obvious but other parents really struggle with – for example, behaviour management, positive interactions, stimulating learning etc. The world is very different now in that many children don’t get to just spend all their time in the outdoors either due to lack of space or lack of safety and some parents are unsure of the best ways to keep children entertained instead – hopefully if this proposition comes into force it will be used to help and give ideas and advice rather than to judge. Hopefully.

  2. We have a thing here in NZ called a Parenting Education Program (PEPE, I’m not sure why not PEP!). You’re supposed to go along to it before baby is born to learn how to make up a cot and bath a baby etc. After that you’re on your own! (Well, not really, but no more classes at least!)

  3. It’s a Big Brother mentality – the micro manager at its finest! But you know what? I think some people would actually subscribe to this! Enjoyed your rant.

  4. Wow! Like Agent Spitback said, “Big Brother”. Here in my state (not all states because not all states have the same laws) in order to get a divorce, if you have children, you are required to take parenting classes. For most people who get divorced, this sounds like a good idea. Most couples who split up, do so because they can’t stand each other and most parents end up using their kids against one another. For many, mediation doesn’t even work. It’s really sad because the kids get caught in the cross fire. So the state of Massachusetts decided to intervene and tell parents who are getting a divorce that in order to get custody of their own children and get the divorce they seek, they must attend a few parenting classes that will “enlighten them” and help them get their children through that divorce smoothly. Problem is, most people who attend the parenting class only do so because it is a requirement but once they walk out that door, the kids get put right back in the middle of their parent’s fights. My ex and I have been separated for three years, using that three years to get on the same page when it comes to the kids to help them get through this as smoothly as possible. They are still going to have to deal with mom and dad not being together anymore but we’ve worked really hard to make them as comfortable as possible. Because of this, my ex and I actually get along now – much better than we did when we were married – but the state still requires that we take this parenting class because they don’t know how to differentiate between the parents who can’t be in the same room with each other and the ones who can. The state has good intentions but it’s being played out in the wrong way and the policy isn’t working. Sorry for the long comment. Guess this is my little rant. LOL! #alittlebitofeverything

    • I think that is why I feel totally uneasy about it – it’s so big brother and surely it should be down to individual people doing the right thing as best they can rather than having to be incentivised or told to do so?

  5. I think that parenting classes would be helpful for some people… and perhaps could mandatory for others (like my brother). But this is difficult to maintain. And how to choose who ‘needs’ classes and who has the nouse to raise their kid? We went to parenting classes because we were scared and also my anxiety means that I need to have ALL avenues covered. All possible avenues.
    I can’t say that they were particularly useful. When you are in it, you do not sit to think, hrm, now what did they say about this…

    • Everything you learn goes out the window and I think this is about a much deeper issue which comes down to people’s way of thinking and respect for themselves and those in their care….

  6. Goodness, I’d missed this one in the news! Generally speaking, I can’t bear the involvement the government tries to have in our parenting and this is certainly very out there!

    I agree with all you said and parenting should certainly be instinctual but I do worry about the fact that some youngsters nowadays ARE disrespectful (to teachers, police officers and other important figures) and I often think (I know I shouldn’t judge but have to be honest lol) that some of this began at home. Presumably, Cameron has begun this initiative to try to tackle that. However, it’s not the correct way to go about it. But what is? Or is it truly none of their business? Hmmm…I really don’t know.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post! 🙂 x #abitofeverything

    • I do understand why he has done it, but I just can’t see it being the way to deal with it. The problem starts a lot earlier on and needs to be addressed a few pages back as far as I’m concerned! x

  7. Oh dear, I am going to be the black sheep of this conversation. I can see where the government is coming from with this proposal (even though I agree Cameron is a twat).
    I agree with what your saying, parenting is instinctive, and involves a fair amount of trial and error, but along the way we look at other people for support, guidance and as an example from which to base our parenting. The way I was raised by my mum was the most influential thing in shaping my own parenting. But there are a large number of new mums out there who just dont have that basis to start with, their own experiences of parenting from their own parents was poor, and likewise they cant use their parents as a source of advice. These people do need support (and lessons) in parenting. But as it stands at rhe moment those lessons are very stigmatised. How bad must it feel to be told your not doing a good enough job, that they cant do something that is suppose to come naturally. The idea that if everyone were to do the classes, it would reduce the stigma for these parents is not a bad one.
    Thanks for linking up with us, Tracey xx #abitofeverything

  8. Licences to people who are only worthy of parenting? Don’t hate me but given all the chavvy twats and ignorant imbeciles who should never go forth and copulate and populate the world, I’m (God it pains me to say it) actually in agreeement with Shameron’s idea for classes!

    It’s instinctive and common sense to you and me and millions of other well-adjusted intelligent people but I’m sorry to sound draconian and Victorian but there are soooooo many people who are clueless. But posts about you sputtering tea and your brain falling out of your ear fricking crack me up so carry on ranting. I love it. #abitofeverything

  9. I am going to be a little controversial and say I think it might be a good thing. Before we had our son we were looking st adoption and there were some children in care that were there simply because their parents didn’t have the skills to care for them. I don’t think these classes are aimed at those of us that write and rant about being parents but those that simply don’t realise they need to be one! I get what you are saying completely but having seen ‘the other side’ I think it may be a positive?! But I do love a good rant and this is a great one!

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