This morning I was thinking that if I hadn’t anything worth reading I shouldn’t write just for the sake of writing something, and instead I started to reminisce about yesterday, Sophie’s 89th birthday. We were inundated with children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and the great pleasure was that everyone was enjoying themselves and even the tiny ones were amenable and well-behaved. It was a wonderful day. Then I thought about all those children who give the police and the authorities generally so many problems. The government has come up with all sorts of systems, that don’t seem to have worked, and yet they and we know that the fault lies with the parents negating their responsibilities, or in some cases incapable of fulfilling them. It was then that I thought of the crazy idea of a postgraduate course in parenting.
One must assume that as the children grow up they learn from their elders, in general terms, what parenting is about. I am suggesting that fining the parents for the misbehaviour of the children will be counter productive, because you can’t get blood out of a stone. Hence another method must be sought that might be effective and would not be excessively expensive. I suggest that when a child misbehaves in a serious way, the parents are given a lecture and the child a reprieve, on the understanding that if it offends again the parents will be forced to attend classes, on the pain of incarceration if they fail to, and these classes will be designed to point out the parents inadequacies, and the overall effects to the environment as a whole, of their children’s behaviour.
I realise that this sounds a little weak, but it is no worse than what is happening at this stage, and if the right professionals set the course, and a trial area, or areas, were used in some of the worst areas to evaluate the scheme, it might be better than sitting wringing our hands and doing nothing. The one thing we do not want is incarceration of the young in the University of the prison. What we need by both the parents and the children is a sense of their responsibility to the rest of us, as we undertake responsibilities with respect to them,