Parenting Across Scotland Essays
When we talk about the early years, we have to inevitably consider the parents. If we can reach the parents, then we reach the children. But the job of the parent isn’t easy. And likewise, there seems to be a fair share of condemning headlines these days accusing parents about a lack of ability to parent. What do these stories always conclude? The ones I’ve read lately seem to suggest that all parents expect schools to toilet train their children, teach them manners and basic social skills, as well as discipline their children. These stories paint parents in a bad light, and give a very narrow view without considering other challenges these parents might be facing. I’d also hazard a guess to say that these types of extreme cases are exceptions – not the norm.
Lately, there has been a lot of chat about the national parenting strategy. As the government works to develop this, it brings up a range of questions – and maybe even some concerns. What will this national strategy look like? And how can we make it support families, instead of condemn them?
On Friday, I stumbled upon Parenting Across Scotland’s collection of essays written by a wide range of contributors expressing their own opinions and sharing personal experiences. The collection has six key headings and addresses issues from early years to teenage years, parenting under pressure and transition times.
Although I haven’t made it through the very lengthy tome, the essays I have read have been very engaging and thought provoking. One of the first essays, by Alan Sinclair, has stuck with me. He recounts the opinion of one of his colleagues: ‘In Scotland you tolerate children. In Holland we love them.’ (p 12) It’s a powerful statement – but read the essay to put it in context.
You can download the publication from the Parenting Across Scotland website. The range of contributors gives some interesting and thought-provoking feedback about what the National Parenting Strategy should look like and what raising a child in Scotland is really like. Definitely worth a read.