Schools urged to teach good parenting skills
All children should be taught good parenting in school, the Church of England's Children's Society said in the most far-reaching inquiry into childhood in the UK.
Today's youngsters are under more stress than any previous generation, because of family breakdown, increasing commercial pressures and exam stress, leaving them "anxious and troubled", says the report, by the former Downing Street adviser Richard Layard and Judith Dunn, a developmental psychologist.
One in three children live apart from their fathers by the time they reach the age of 16. Even by the age of three, children in single-parent homes are more likely to show signs of poor behaviour, they found.
The report, A Good Childhood: Searching for Values in a Competitive Age, suggests ways to improve the quality of parenthood. These include lessons in personal and social education at school to cover the skills of parenting, relationships and child development.
And good parenting should be taught even before a baby is conceived. "Before the child is born, the parents should be fully informed of what is involved in bringing up a child, not only the physical demands and sacrifices but the emotional demands and the stresses as well as the joys it will bring to their own relationships," the researchers say.
They also call for both parents to have the right to take three years' maternity leave, with their jobs being held open for that period even if the leave is unpaid. The report says the days of deference to parents, teachers and elders are gone. "For some parents, this is a problem but the answer is not permissive parenting where anything goes," the authors say. "Children need unconditional love but they also need clear boundaries, based on reasoned explanation."
More than 35,000 people contributed to the inquiry, with the lives of thousands of children being studied.
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Power of Nepal earthquake was equivalent to 20 huge atomic bombs
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
£40000 - £48000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Engineer - Windo...
£25 - 32,500K (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Produ...
£16000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning independent ...
£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...