It's too easy to blame parents

16th December 2005 at 00:00
Peter King's otherwise excellent comment on parent power (Talkback, Friday magazine, November 18) was marred only by his resorting to blaming parents for children's lack of discipline.

Why is this view of the causes of bad behaviour so prevalent, when a moment's consideration shows that it can't be that simple?

Sure, some parents don't discipline their children; but others don't know how to; still others are wrestling with problems too awful to contemplate, and can't.

And what about schools? We expect children as young as four to cope with two environments (home and school) often totally at variance with each other in terms of their behavioural regimes and values.

Some parents and teachers would struggle to explain why they expect certain behaviour or where their values came from.

Is Peter King seriously suggesting that all schools are so perfect that it's impossible that they could be responsible for bad behaviour?

I suspect that the deterioration of behaviour in school is caused by two factors: a breakdown in consensus of behavioural standards within society; and a move away from education policies which were driven by the needs of the child, rather than an agenda of achievement imposed by some anonymous quango beyond the influence of child, parent or teacher.

Sue Gerrard 8 Croft Way

Market Drayton, Shropshire

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