David Cameron: parents should be taught how to control children

The Observer is reporting that the prime minister is calling for a revolution in child rearing by suggesting that all parents should attend classes on how to discipline their children.

In a move likely to enrage those fearful of an encroaching “nanny state”, David Cameron will say that it should be the norm for parents to receive instruction on how to behave around their offspring.

As part of a speech on the family, Cameron will announce plans for a parenting classes voucher scheme, claiming that all parents need help and that there is too little state-sponsored guidance on offer.

“In the end, getting parenting and the early years right isn’t just about the hardest-to-reach families; it’s about everyone,” Cameron is expected to say on Monday. “We all have to work at it. And if you don’t have a strong support network – if you don’t know other mums or dads – having your first child can be enormously isolating.

“Of course they don’t come with a manual, but is it right that all of us get so little guidance? We’ve made progress. We’ve dramatically expanded the number of health visitors, and that is crucial. But that just deals with one part of parenting – the first few weeks and months. What about later on, when it comes to play, communication, behaviour and discipline? We all need more help with this – the most important job we’ll ever have. So I believe we now need to think about how to make it normal – even aspirational – to attend parenting classes.”

Cameron will say that the government’s Life Chances Strategy – an initiative to target tackle child poverty – will include a plan for “significantly expanding parenting provision”. It will also recommend ways to incentivise all parents to take up the offer of classes…

More at: David Cameron: parents should be taught how to control children


What do you think about the idea of promoting parenting classes to teach discipline to all?

If it could be done, would it make a difference?

Please let us know why/why not in the comments or via Twitter…


Classes to teach all parents how to discipline their children - good idea?

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Categories: Parenting and Policy.


  1. The Tories cut the national play programme in 2010 with ten years of training for practitioners and advice for families still to go, and have done nothing about it since. Through their play, children learn about communication and behaviour, so will the govt now change their stance?

  2. This could open a can of worms.  What type of parenting would be promoted?  Gina Ford or Benjamin Spock?  Given this Government’s support for ‘no excuses’ and ‘zero tolerance’, it’s likely to be the former (cue Mumsnet controversy).
    Parents are already bombarded with advice, much of it contradictory.  
    Any state-advocated method would likely start a retailing rush to provide parenting aids.  To see what I mean just google ‘naughty step’ and you’ll see cute little stools with ‘naughty’ on them, or stairs with a step marked ‘naughty’.  The latter, of course, could be ironic.

  3. clivetaylor915

    One assumes he means the plebs. He should see the quality of parenting exhibited by people like him#noisyshoutychaos

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