Parenting is a difficult job – and support is needed

Harvey Weinstein

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It’s not just charity that begins at home.

The way we are brought up stays with us for the rest of our lives, shaping who we are and how we behave in the decades to come.

And while becoming a mother or father comes naturally to most, being a responsible parent is a far more difficult task.

As Hampshire’s police commissioner points out, it’s a problem that echoes down the generations – because people who were badly parented can often grow up to be bad parents themselves.

Mr Hayes is also right to point out that a focus on violence in the home will yield results – growing up can be tortuous enough without witnessing or experiencing the misery wreaked on families by a violent parent whose crime all too often goes unreported.

The sentiment, then, is a good one and one which few would disagree with.

The challenge is how to put those words into action.

We must remember that ‘bad parents’ are not that by choice.

Often they just don’t have the skills and support they need.

And that is why, alongside the task of dealing with the criminal activity, there must be a focus on what is on offer to help families who might otherwise struggle.

The concerns of families who are losing their local children’s centres due to cuts, as we reported earlier this week, should be kept in mind here.

So too should the cost of childcare which can discourage parents from going to work, reducing income and subtracting employment from the equation when children start to work out what life is about.

Tackling the problems faced by families struggling with the twin problems of low income and lack of services is a complicated issue which requires action and resources from a range of organisations.

How this is achievable with less and less money around to spend is a problem which should trouble the commissioner if he is serious about tackling some of our anti-social behaviour problems at their source.

We wish him luck with this unenviable challenge.