Mummy Buzz


Thinktank Creates Parenting Checklist

Parenting 101

First there was Supernanny telling us how to give our kids time-outs. Now a UK thinktank is giving parents a checklist of things to do with their children every day.

Based the "five a day" healthy eating campaign, the thinktank CentreForum has published a list of five tasks to be performed by parents. The following checklist aims to boost child development:

Read to your child for 15 minutes

Play with your child on the floor for 10 minutes

Talk with your child for 20 minutes with the television off

Adopt positive attitudes towards your child and praise them frequently

Give your child a nutritious diet

CentreForum hopes the guidelines, which form part of a report on improving social mobility, will be advertised on buses and in nurseries. It also plans to make childcare classes mandatory for those claiming benefit payments.

"It is only by taking steps which actively encourage awareness and participation among parents from lower-income backgrounds that engagement with parenting and the home environment can move beyond being a general tool for child development and become a genuine weapon against disadvantage," said the report's author, Chris Paterson.

Far from falling on deaf ears, Paterson's report has support from the highest echelons. Labour MP and author of two government-commissioned reviews on early intervention, Graham Allen told the Telegraph, "a national parenting campaign is exactly what Britain needs".

Do parents need 'classes' on how to parent? Does the checklist strike you as common sense or yet another case of nanny state tactics?