Friday, February 8, 2008

Parents feeling undervalued by society

Stuff readers have their say on a Families Commission survey which revealed nearly two-thirds of parents surveyed believe society views their role as either not important or only "somewhat" important.

Parents feeling undervalued by society
The Dominion Post | Friday, 08 February 2008

Parents believe they are undervalued by society, regularly shunned by businesses and often receive unsympathetic treatment from employers.

Are parents undervalued by society? Email your feedback to

A Families Commission survey has revealed nearly two-thirds of parents surveyed believe society views their role as either not important or only "somewhat" important.

Less than a quarter of those surveyed felt their employers rated parenting as being either important or very important.

Parents complained about being made to feel unwelcome by cafes if they were with small children, and public transport operators failing to cater to their needs.

New mother Jacqui Whelan said pram access was generally poor at shops and on public transport.

"It depends where you are, but you're often left on your own."

Other mothers said it was hard to gauge whether cafes and restaurants allow them to breast-feed, and shopping trips could be hampered by a dearth of hygienic baby-changing facilities.

Chief family commissioner Rajen Prasad said those attitudes sent a subtle message to parents that their role was not valued.

Katrina Bootsma said it was often hard to judge how public breastfeeding of her daughter would be received. "It's still hard to catch the vibe of where you can breastfeed."

Kaye Patterson said she was often appalled by the quality of baby-changing areas.

"Porirua's [mall] was small and it stank."

Dr Prasad said raising children was the most important job many people would do, and it was essential for communities to be more supportive.

"Service industries can also do more to support parents - cafes that turn away mothers with babies, and bus drivers that take off while people are still struggling to seat young children are subtly showing they do not value parenting."

Employers' attitudes needed to change. "Flexible workplaces are key. Parents need work that suits their parenting needs as well."

Cafe manager Tony Castro, who has a one-year-old son, agreed many restaurants did not actively gear themselves toward children.

"It depends how you look at these things. We just get on with it ... We've taken Angus down to dinner at the Matterhorn."

Mr Castro, who manages Caffe L'Affare in College St, said cafes that discouraged families could begin losing out on business.

"We have people who come down and spend a couple of hundred bucks on lunch with their families."

The survey also showed many parents did not feel able to seek advice on raising their children out of fear of being judged as failures.

"Most parents do a good job raising their children, but there are times when they could do with some extra support.

"There is also still a perception that parenting should come naturally and that if we need support then it is a sign of failure."

Dr Prasad said the commission was launching a parenting advice website in response to the survey, which would offer child-rearing tips and direct parents toward support providers, such as Plunket and Barnardos.

"The more parents know about child development and appropriate methods of child-rearing through the different ages and stages of a child's life the stronger and more successful the family will be."

My published comment;
I have known this for years, because we have a bias government hell bent on undermining parental rights, much too the detriment for our society. Just look at the problems associated with the break down of the family.
- dad4justice


Anonymous said...

When did Peter Burns become a socialist? Since he began to bludge off the state tit with his welfare benefit. And since he now wants the Families Commission to have more clout.

My published comment;

I say get rid of the Families Commission. Total waste of taxpayer money. Nanny state should butt out of our lives.

If you want to be crushed by the jackbooted socialists Peter Burns then that's your business. But you've got no business wanting Nanny State meddling in my life.

At least James Sleep Creep is openly socialist. You're a closet socialist traitor.

dad4justice said...

Hi Mark One bomber from Tumeke blog earlier this morning.You nasty creep. At least Tim Selwyn clarified matters after you accused me of stalking women and child abuse.I will thank Tim personally. Look mate, who the hell you are is not my concern. I have had enough of your rubbish for today , however I want to show readers a particularly nasty Internet coward.

I provide countless parents and children practical solutions to avoid conflict. I will work with anybody that helps to settle differences immediately even when conflict is high, so it can enable children to continue in a settled routine.

The Children Need Parents Trust will prove my credibility & please can you stop calling me a socialist. I am a conservative -Oh that’s right, you already know that & please refrain from writing or bother posting here again loser.

Now stuck your head up your bum and go jump in a freezing lake .

What a crackpot !

Anonymous said...

You appear to be an ignorant twerp as well as a socialist loser.

Do you even know what a conservative is? Unlike socialists they don't like governments meddling in their lives. So what do you think of work for the benefit initiatives and closing down useless government ministries?

dad4justice said...

We do not need political cronies of this present Government making up countless, pointless bureaucratic positions. Spending on Govt Commissions and quangos is a disgrace.A socialist would not have that comment published? Go back to school teddy bear.

You are the obnoxious ignorant twerp you cowardly nitwit loser.

How stupid can you get. Are you James Sleep or his boy friend George Beyer?