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Are we raising a spoilt generation?

I have just started reading “The Spoilt Generation” by Dr Aric Sigman (published by Piatkus). The gist of the book appears to be that in recent decades the way in which we parent our children has changed dramatically. For generations, parenting has been “intuitive” and rooted in community, religious and other values that have often been passed down from one generation to the next. Much of parenting today appears to be directed by political and social fads and fashion, guided by “experts”. Dr. Sigman’s book tackles the results of this change in parenting head-on and the chapter headings give a very clear indication of some of the aspects of parenting that he is most concerned by: “Little Emperors” (entitled children who think they have a right to everything), “Friend or Fuhrer?” (can a parent also be a friend to their children?), “Crime and Punishment” (behaviour, boundaries, discipline and consequences).
My active parenting days are behind me as my children are now in their 20s and one of them is happily married. However, I can vividly remember the challenges Debs and I faced as we sought to bring up 3 half-decent human beings and I would never pretend to know all the answers when it comes to parenting. I look forward to reading the book and encourage you to perhaps get hold of a copy as well. Parenting is blooming difficult and no-one gives you a manual when you stand at the hospital door heading home with your first child thinking “help!” There is much we can learn from each other when it comes to parenting and it is sometimes helpful to listen to those who have more experience than we have. I look forward to sharing more thoughts in weeks to come as I get stuck into the book.
Here’s a good quotation to start you thinking: “Britain has the lowest proportion of children in all of Europe who eat with their parents at the table and 75% of dinners are eaten in front of the television”. What is the percentage in your home?
Pete Last
Headmaster

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