Thursday, 11 August 2011

How to be a good parent: A 5 a day plan to help

Parents should adopt a "five-a-day" approach, with daily activities to help children reach their full potential, a report has said. A BBC news article last week discussed that parents need help to bring up their children in the best possible way. I believe that many people have lost their way with parenting; we have many families where there are 2 or 3 generations of poor parenting now which is bound to have repercussions. I see the knock on effect of this almost everyday where children are not being stimulated sufficiently so their spoken language skills are detrimentally affected. Obviously the Hello campaign is working to address this issue but what about the other aspects? How much screen time, how to say no, how to build their self esteem. Everyone has a right to be secure, loved and valued; would these 5- a day rules help?
You can read the full story at  These steps include reading to their child, praising them and talking to them with the television switched off. 
The think tank CentreForum says the government should start a national campaign promoting better parenting with a model similar to the five-a-day scheme which encourages people to eat fruit and vegetables, to give parents manageable steps.

Five steps to help your child

  • Read to your child for 15 minutes
  • Play with your child on the floor for 10 minutes
  • Talk with your child for 20 minutes with the television off
  • Adopt positive attitudes towards your child and praise them frequently
  • Give your child a nutritious diet to aid development
The report's author, Chris Paterson, said the most important factor influencing a child's intellectual and social development was the quality of parenting and care they received.
He said evidence suggested children from poorer backgrounds were much less likely to experience a "rich home learning environment" than those growing up in wealthier households.
Studies showed that more affluent parents spent more time reading to their children and talking to them and were more likely to praise them than tell them off, he said.
He said mothers and fathers from all backgrounds could make a difference to their children's life chances by following some simple rules.
"Parents from all social and educational backgrounds can and do provide home environments that are highly conducive to child development," the report said.
Mr Paterson told the BBC it should not be assumed that everyone knew how to be a good parent.
I believe the recent rioting reflects poor parenting; they didn't respect anyone else's property, felt it was OK to steal, throw missiles at police and set fire to cars and shops. They just thought of themselves and wanted to get rich quick. The values that would have prevented this are all things we need to teach our children. Plus, where did the parents think they were? 
I'd welcome your comments 

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