Media Release 19 November 2011
Family First NZ is rejecting comments by Celia Lashlie about mothers being too soft, and says that for most parents, the problem is that the authority and role of parents has been undermined and the concept of the ‘rights’ of young people has actually caused more harm than good.
“Parenting has been put on trial in New Zealand as a result of dopey laws like the anti-smacking law, welfare payments like the Independent Youth Benefit, and the rights of young people being trumpeted as being more important than the role of the family,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“It seems we are no longer allowed to teach our children the concept of ‘respect’, and that is now showing in the way many young people deal with authority like the police and teachers.”
“Parents are doing their darned best in difficult circumstances, knowing that they could be criminalised for setting boundaries and consequences, and then having a finger pointed at them by experts when young people play up.”
“The lack of inaction on alcohol abuse and the drinking age is a perfect example of the political neglect when it comes to empowering families to protect their children,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“As UK psychologist Aric Sigman said, parents, teachers, policemen, doctors, nurses now have to justify their actions like never before, and this just fuels young peoples’ views of their self-importance.”
“Alcohol abuse by teenagers, risky behavior and dangerous driving, 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,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“Celia Lashlie is correct in saying that there are ‘push-over parents’, but we need to address the far more important issue of how we are disempowering and demonising good parents.