There was an interesting interview on This Morning today with best-selling Australian author Steve Siddulph and I’d love to hear your opinion on his thoughts about British parenting styles.
The introduction on the This Morning website (rather scandalously) states that he couldn’t think of a worse upbringing than we, as Britons, aspire to for our children and that we are spineless, gutless parents – all very harsh but lets look at his reasoning.
In a nutshell, he is convinced that as parents, us Brits aren’t focusing enough on ‘natural nurture’ and have basically become ‘too busy’ as he put it with the longest working hours in Europe. He is particularly worried about the girls here. He claims 2 out of every 3 girls will suffer with anxiety issues as a direct link to our ‘success culture’ and the need to ‘have it all’. The high standards expected of them at school, amongst peers and online simply becomes too much and can send them crashing into a debilitating self-worth spiral making them more vulnerable to mental health issues and eating disorders.
According to him, when questioned, 25 year olds will most often refer to their best childhood memories as time spent in nature with their families such as camping, splashing on a beach or a walk in the forest. This is all to do with the bonding power of quality time spent in nature, away from the stresses and strains of modern life and he feels we should all be placing far more importance on this than we currently do.
He also said that ensuring there is a solid ‘Aunty’ figure within your support networks can be a massive help to a teenage girl’s development, for the simple reason that they will far more likely listen to advice from a beloved female other than their mother and will talk more freely to them too. He also spoke of a ‘second babyhood’ experienced by girls around the age of 13 that we are completely unaware of and are therefore missing vital opportunities to parent well.
So, I wonder what you think about our parenting in the UK. We hear the phrase Nanny IPAD a lot but is it actually something we should be worrying about more? Are we adequately disciplining our children and creating adults worthy of society or are we failing? Is he right to warn us of the growing anxiety epidemic which seems to be a very British situation or is this just another ploy to heap guilt on us and sell his books? Let’s chat ladies!