Parenting classes – a good or bad idea?

The PM's announced he wants to introduce parenting classes for all - our mums told us what they think. Their answers might surprise you

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Earlier this week newspapers across the board shared news that the Prime Minister wants all new mums and dads to have parenting classes.

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David Cameron says he’d like them to be a “normal – even aspirational” part of life and has admitted that he himself “struggles” with being a parent (quite a number of you mentioned the time he left one of his kids in the pub. Oops.)

We thought his plans might bring up a bit of a debate – and figured it would be worth asking some of our mums what they thought of the idea. Here’s what you told us.

All those in favour…

“I think it’s beneficial for those who haven’t got family around to show them the ropes. I had my son three years ago, his dad was posted to Afghanistan and I was left with a 10-day old baby and knew nobody but my neighbour.

Would have been reassuring to know what I was doing was correct, after all it was my first baby and I was clueless!” – Claire

“I think it would be helpful – you’re not born knowing how to be a good parent and what they need.” – Judy

“Yes I do, the next generation is very precious, we need to stop this downward spiral.” – Joanne

“I’m of the opinion that the more access to information relating to my child, the better.” – Tania

“Great idea.” – Jayne

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All those against…

“Really – they can’t leave anything alone can they? Good values, morals and manners should be common knowledge to all – not just parents. I have 3 children and went to a parenting classes when I had my first at 18 as the health visitor insisted. It was a load of rubbish!

My children have perfect manners and behaviour because I discipline appropriately use the word NO when needed and teach them the value of things. It was how I was raised and passed those values on. Who’s to say what’s right or wrong with so many mixed cultures in modern society?” – Heather

“Me and my husband were forced to go to one as we were 17. However it was rubbish. Simple things like to not leave the baby alone in the bath. I found the first aid training helped more than anything and I think a new parents should go on a first aid course.” – Becki

“One thing I’m bloody proud of is being a good mum. I may not get it right all the time but I’m damn sure I don’t need someone to tell me how to do it.” – Rachel

The MFM verdict

While there were a lot of digs at the people suggesting the plans (ie the Government and the PM in particular) quite a few of you actually felt that parenting classes could be really helpful for lots of us

Unfortunately, those of you who told us you actually went to parenting classes of one kind or another weren’t too positive about them which suggests that, while in theory, they might be a good idea – they need to be of a high enough standard that we think they’re worth doing, and give us some knowledge we don’t think we could get from say, family and friends.

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