Family First Midweek Update 23 August 2011

1.Increasing Bad Behaviour by Children Expected
Family First Media Release 22 August 2011
Family First NZ says that reports of knife attacks in primary schools, suspensions of new entrants for disobedience and aggression, and increasing levels of criminal assaults being committed by primary school age students is no surprise – and will worsen, especially when schools are pressured to accept and accommodate increasingly defiant and unacceptable behaviour by children, and as parental authority is undermined by politicians. “We have tried to bury our heads in the sand on this growing problem – but the problem hasn’t gone away and is only worsening. And it will get worse as parents feel disempowered by anti-smacking laws, the underlying message of children’s rights over parental responsibility, and discipline being deemed a dirty word,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ….“But one thing is clear – the situation will only get worse unless we return authority and responsibility to parents and teachers.” READ MORE
Boy, 10, stabbed at school
ONE News August 22, 2011 A south Auckland boy was reportedly left bleeding heavily after being stabbed by another child following a lunchtime game of touch rugby. …It comes as new figures show the number of five and six-year-olds stood down and suspended from school reaches a five year high. Bob McCoskrie from Family First NZ said he was not surprised by the attack or the increase in suspensions among primary school age students. “Schools are pressured to accept and accommodate increasingly defiant and unacceptable behaviour by children,” he said. “We have tried to bury our heads in the sand on this growing problem – but the problem hasn’t gone away and is only worsening.” READ MORE
New entrant suspensions reach 5 year high
NZ Herald 22 Aug 2011 A family lobby group says it is no surprise the behaviour of young children is worsening, following the release of a report which says five and six-year-olds are increasingly being stood down from school….Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said New Zealand had tried to bury its head in the sand on this growing problem, but the problem was only getting worse. READ MORE
Naughty new entrants kicked out of school
TVNZ August 22, 2011 Naughty five and six-year-olds are increasingly being turfed out of school as experts say the behaviour of young pupils is getting worse…..Family First’s Bob McCoskrie said he thinks the problem will worsen, blaming what he says is more pressure on schools to accept and accommodate “increasingly defiant and unacceptable behaviour”. “There are many factors that may be contributing to these statistics including the levels of violence in the media and games, the undermining of parental and school authority, the ‘rights’ culture being fed to young people, and family breakdown and fatherlessness,” said McCoskrie. READ MORE 

2.Child Support Should Be Matched By Family Support
Family First Media Release 21 August 2011
Family First NZ is welcoming the new rules surrounding child support, although they would like to see equal focus and investment in strengthening marriages and supporting families at risk or under pressure before the relationship breakdown occurs. They also prefer stronger consequences placed on parents who are primarily at fault in the breakdown of the relationship. “A number of recommendations made by Family First in its submission have been adopted by the proposals made by Peter Dunne, including taking the income of both parents into account rather that just the paying parent’s income; recognising shared care of a child at lower levels than the current 40% of nights test; and automatic deduction of child support payments from wages,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ… “Child Support should be strongly targeted at parents who abandon their responsibility or who are proved to be unsuitable to care for the children e.g. domestic violence, sexual, physical and psychological abuse – not at those who wish to maintain their responsibilities related to raising their own children. The current regime has been too inflexible and has lead to unjust results. The latest proposals will go some way to addressing that unfairness.” READ MORE
Family support should match child support
Yahoo News August 21, 2011 Family First NZ is welcoming the new rules surrounding child support, although they would like to see equal focus and investment in strengthening marriages and supporting families at risk or under pressure before the relationship breakdown occurs. READ MORE 
READ Family First’s Submission on Child Support

3.Politicians are like children:they don’t know when to stop (UK) 
UK expert Frank Furedi writing in The Australian August 20, 2011
Numerous children between the ages of 11-14 participated in the looting of shops and the destruction of property that made news around the world. It signifies that childhood has gone astray and that adult authority has been tragically eroded. Policymakers, politicians and opinion makers point the finger at parents… But parenting is not an institution that can be reformed through state intervention. Parenting is a cultural accomplishment that is cultivated through decades of interaction in communities. That is why the billions of pounds spent so far on family intervention has failed to realise their objectives. Worse still, the intrusion of officialdom may be partly responsible for the inability of many parents to control the behaviour of their children in the first place. For more than three decades policymakers and the child-protection industry have sought to stigmatise and criminalise parents who punish bad behaviour. Campaigns against smacking put many parents on the defensive about exercising any form of restraint. Ironically, as politicians complain that parents don’t control their children, parents are lectured that discipline is repressive and results in dysfunctional children. The term “discipline” carries connotations of an abuse of power. A well-deserved smack on the wrist is represented as a crime against humanity READ MORE 

4.Porn Parades Cost Taxpayer $20,000-plus 
Family First Media Release 19 August 2011
Family First NZ says that the Boobs on Bikes parades in Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga have cost the tax and ratepayer at least $20,000 in police costs and local council traffic management, and the costs should be recovered from the organisers. “The Boobs on Bikes parade is not a community event, a Christmas parade, or even a social or political issue. It is a blatant marketing tool for the pornography industry, and as such, the police and local councils should be actively recovering the costs of hosting the parades,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. Official Information Act requests to the Auckland police show that in Auckland alone, 48 police staff were deployed using 10 vehicles at a cost to the taxpayer of more that $6,000. READ MORE
LISTEN Newstalk ZB coverage

5.Parents warned over international ‘baby farms’
ONE News August 20, 2011
New Zealanders desperate to create a baby are heading overseas and paying up to $100,000 to hire a womb, unaware that their children could end up stateless. It is illegal to pay for a surrogate mother in New Zealand, but in many countries the practice is not regulated. The baby business has already led to trafficking and baby-breeding farms – one was found in Thailand earlier this year. As long as the hopeful parent can front up with the cash, the first steps to creating a baby are nothing more than a business transaction, kicked off in minutes. READ MORE 

6.Telecom cancels no-sex campaign
Newstalk ZB 18/08/2011
Telecom has cancelled their Abstinence for the All Blacks campaign in the wake of a huge outcry. The news is being welcomed by groups like Family First. Director Bob McCoskrie says campaign was always destined to fail because it was corny and because it wasn’t family friendly. He says the All Blacks fan club is made up of children and families and any campaign needs to appeal to families and people of all ages. READ MORE

7.Debate over warning labels on alcohol heats up (Aus)
Sydney Morning Herald August 17, 2011
Health warnings linking alcohol with dire outcomes such as brain damage and cancer have been backed by health groups but described as potentially ”alarming” by an industry-backed group. The fight over safety labels between the health sector and the multibillion-dollar liquor industry is warming up just as the federal government finally begins formal consultations today on long-awaited warnings, introduced in the United States 22 years ago. The federally-funded Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation yesterday released its favoured warnings, including: ”Drinking alcohol increases your risk of developing cancers” and ”drinking alcohol damages the young developing brain”. READ MORE

8.Why a healthy marriage is good for the heart
Telegraph (UK) 22 Aug 2011
Researchers from the University of Rochester in America found that 83 per cent of happily married women who had heart bypass operations lived on for another 15 years, compared with just 28 per cent in unhappy unions and 27 per cent of unmarried women. For happy husbands the survival rate was also 83 per cent, but even those who were not content with their marriage stood a 60 per cent chance of survival, compared with just 36 per cent who were unmarried. READ MORE