Power to the Parent

12 01 2010

A newspaper article at the weekend told how one political party was promising to give more power to teachers in order to help class discipline. An MP was quoted as saying, “Restoring authority in the classroom is absolutely fundamental to starting to repair social breakdown.”

Hmmm. I agree teachers need to be protected and enabled to do their job. I also agree that class discipline is essential if anyone is to learn anything.

But is lack of authority in the classroom the fundamental issue?

I think not. This measure is merely a sticking plaster to try and cover a much deeper need. Which is that parents need to be given back their authority in the home. Further, parents need to take up their responsibility in the home. The massive decline of these two elements has left our children without boundaries, no respect for authority, and a danger to themselves as well as others.

Responsible parenting is the key for the repair of social breakdown.




7 responses

15 01 2010

what does ‘given back their authority in the home’ mean ?

21 01 2010

Thanks for your comment. I have a few things in mind:

1.I think parents have lost their confidence to be parents because there are so many “experts” telling us how we ought to do it.
2.Parents give away their authority because they want to be friends with their kids before they want to be parents.
3.We increasingly live in a nanny state where parents are told what they can and cannot do.
4.There is a tremendous peer pressure among parents to be the kind of parent that others approve of (perhaps that comes under parents taking up their responsibilities).

22 01 2010
John Thomson

I agree with all you say Feemail and would add that I see the breakdown of authority structures to the liberal left secularism that is the prevailing orthodoxy of our society. It has undemined the family, the idea of authority, the concept of personal responsibility and so on. The brave new world of liberal secularism is no success story.

Now of course family values exist outside of a Judeo-Christian world view (God has written a basic morality on every human heart) however, they are likely to be much more muddled. The judeo-Christian influence in society is fast disappearing and in its wake many suspect values are flooding in.

There are two ways that Judeo-Christian belief can influence society. One, Christians can try to influence non-Christian society and try to get them to embrace Christian morality. In this way Christians act as a kind of Law. They try to restrain evil in society.

The second way is that Christians can placard the gospel in their family life and preach the gospel to a non-christian world.

Both methods are legitimate provided we remember that the latter will always be in the long run the most effective. For only by many being converted is the christian voice likely to have any influence and only converted people have the power necessary to live as parents really ought.

22 01 2010

I know of nothing the ‘nanny state’ tells us people can’t do as parents other than a stated level of violence and also, and obviously, anything that comes under the category of abuse. Also if parents are so lacking in your view, why not get parenting advice from experts ? These 2 statements seem contradictory.

ps dont know about the diatribe about the ‘liberal left’ getting thrown into pot. Poor parenting and a lack of family values exist across the board of all political and religious standpoints including Christian. But as for ‘converted’ people only having the power to be as parents really ought -speechless really- sweepingly dismissive.

22 01 2010
John Thomson


I go much further, I am prepared to say that only Christians have the ability to live in any area of life as they ought. Living as we ought means not only doing what is right to others, it means doing everything we do with the chief intention of pleasing God. God is the number one person to whom we are responsible. Our first obedience/loyalty/desire/love should be to our Maker – he is not only above everything but gives us everything. Only those who have come to know God through Jesus can even begin to do this. They do not do it because they are better than others but because in trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation they have been gifted God’s own Spirit in their hearts. He is the one who slowly but surely begins to refashion their broken and sinful lives and remake them as God intended.

I am not saying Christians never get it wrong, they do. But I have seen people whose lives have been badly broken – impossibly broken by human standards completely changed by faith in Christ. These people become the parents no amount of social work on their behalf could ever have created. The change started from the inside out and that is the change we all need, and none more so than those whose life is already a bombsite.

22 01 2010
John Thomson


Annieh, can’t you see how our society promotes values that are contrary to good homes and good society. Selfish acquisition is paraded as a virtue. We must have and must have now. Sexual fidelity is undermined. Think of TV shows. Virginity is mocked. Sex only for marriage is derided. Self realisation is a vital goal and the subtext is don’t let anyone stand in your way. ‘You’re worth it’. There is no God to answer to and so no need to fear wrongdoing. Lying is good if it helps and only wrong if found out. Stable family life is virtually impossible if these values prevail.

These ‘values’ pervade our culture and many more. Where do these come from? They come from the worldview that is most pervasive and controlling in society and few would disagree that this is a liberal leftwing secular humanism. Of course, secular humanism will deny these values, but if they are the prevailing influence in society then they must take a great deal of the responsibility.

Christian values such as humility, self-giving, self-denial, self-sacrifice, gentleness, kindness, turning the other cheek, fidelity, life-long commitment, chastity, contentment, forgiving, etc have little capital or leverage in modern life.

If God is dead (as secular humanism insists) then we need a god to replace him to give us a reason to live. We have put ourselves there. we are God. Thus a world of selfish conflict is inevitable as we all fight to rule.

Just a few thoughts.

All the best


26 01 2010

i think that again you are generalising to an extreme level about ‘society’ . the comments sound defensive, are you in a trench somewhere manning the barricades ? do you actually really know anyone from your fearful ‘society’ ? -branch out, you might be pleasantly surprised.

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