Silas

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Happy 30th Birthday Grandma

The title of this post is a suggestion I made several years ago for a new line of greetings cards. It was a joke then. It doesn't seem to be now.

The BBC are reporting that the Conservative's shadow work and pensions secretary Chris Grayling, will "warn" today that parenting of the type seen in the TV show Shameless has become the "norm" in many places.

He will say in many families children are "largely left to their own devices" and will ask how people learn parenting skills, "if that inherited knowledge simply isn't there". Which is a very good point, to some extent. As my dad died when I was ten, I don't really have much idea of what a father should do. Which is handy as I don't intend to be one, but never mind. I know how a single mother brings a child up though, and I like to think she did a pretty good job.

To be fair to the man, he will say "the Conservative Party should focus on parenting problems generally - not on single parents."

He will add: "Those (inherited parenting) skills can quickly disappear. In many of our most troubled areas, the generations pass pretty quickly. Thirty-year-old grandparents and 45-year-old great-grandparents are far from unusual in today's Britain."

Really? Do you happen to have the figures for that? Or are you, like so many before you, embarking on a journey to Daily Mail Island to frolic on Insanity Beach? The Office of National Statistics most recent report (admittedly from 2000, but confirming what I've seen personally) says that the average age of a mother when she gives birth to her first child has gone up to 27.1, despite the increase of teenage pregnancy.

If anyone has any more up to date figures that support Mr Grayling, please let me know. Ta.

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