Linda Colling: Kids don’t know right from wrong

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A look was all it took. And you knew you’d better behave. Now we have an angry generation of children lashing out in the classroom.

And guess what a study has found? It all boils down to a lack of parental discipline.

What a turn-up. And would you believe ministers are preparing a two-year trial of parenting classes in three areas as part of a £5million experiment to deal with issues such as discipline, communication and managing conflict?

What a waste of money.

The trouble today is parents cave in to whatever their kids want for an easy life. And so they grow up totally ruined, expecting all their heart’s desire... and when they don’t get what they want they kick off.

And it’s so ingrained in them, the older they get they reckon the world owes them a living. That’s why there’s so many work-shy kids haunting our streets.

From the summer, these lessons will be introduced for about 50,000 families in Middlesbrough, High Peak in Derbyshire, and Camden in North London.

The hope is that if the scheme proves successful it will be rolled out across the country and make the classes available to all parents.

As if those who are poverty-stricken parents – and that has nothing to do with how much money is coming in -– will go to such a class.

There is no argument for such classes because the very people who are failing their children won’t go. They are the very ones to kick off at the mere suggestion. That’s where their kids get all their anger and aggression from - copying them.

The classes are a non-starter, like the study, funded by the Government of nearly 300 families with children aged four to seven which assessed both the children’s behaviour and their parents’ discipline techniques.

Kids are being spoilt rotten with hush money and guilt money. And that’s at all levels of society.

There’s an opting out and abdicating the role of parenting – reckoning it’s the teacher’s job, anybody’s but theirs.

Then there’s the reliance on electronic babysitters – sitting them in front of television and computer screens so they can switch off from talking to their children, listening to them, knowing their worries and what they are up to.

Too many don’t even know what it is to have a bedtime story.

It’s very sad that good kids aren’t given the chance to know right from wrong, because their parents can’t be bothered. Why do they ever have them?

It’s not only some middle-class parents lavishing material possessions on their children who are distant and barely involved in their upbringing but the less well-off. That’s why there’s so much debt.

The really naughty and irritating kids who are constantly yelled at by their parents are simply being trained to become anti-social.

They are the ones at risk of underperforming at school, getting into bother with the law and turning to drug or drink.

And those whose parents are violent and totally inconsistent in what they let them get away with are twice as likely to be aggressive and disruptive. They know no boundaries and it isn’t their fault.