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Anyone for free parenting classes? a member of our Islamic Legal Services team discusses

The Children’s minister has announced free parenting classes for parents with children under the age of 6. It has been emphasised that the classes are on offer to all parents and not only for those who are struggling. The scheme is to be trialled for 2 years in Middlesbrough, High Peak, and Camden where 50,000 parents will be offered to take part in the programme. These lucky parents will learn the unwritten rules of how to discipline their children, communication and listening skills and the all-important dark arts of managing conflict between parent-child. The initiative is influenced by the strong evidence that a child's development in the first five years' of their life is the single biggest factor influencing their chances in life, health and education achievement. The government therefore feels that it is their ‘moral and social duty’ to make sure they support all parents at this critical time and also because ‘parenting has to be one of the toughest jobs and it doesn't come with a rule book’. If the issue wasn’t patronising enough, this certainly nailed it! Jo Frost, expert in parental guidance and star of Chanel 4 hit series ‘Supernanny’ better watch out; it sounds like she could soon be out of a job.