The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
Contemporary parenting more paranoid than ever
A new edition of Paranoid Parenting by Frank Furedi, Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent, calls for parents to ignore the policymakers and 'parenting experts', and to regain a viewpoint that advances children's wellbeing.
First published by Continuum Books in 2001, Paranoid Parenting: Why Ignoring the Experts May be Best for Your Child turned the spotlight on a society where children are deemed at risk from an ever expanding range of dangers, such as cots, babysitters, school, the supermarket and the park. With this new edition, Professor Furedi is motivated by the conviction that, in an era when parenting has become more paranoid than ever, if parents can grasp why their role has been turned into such a troublesome enterprise, then they can do something about regaining their self-confidence.
He says: 'Despite public recognition of the problem, today's parenting culture systematically de-skills mothers and fathers. It places enormous pressures on parents to turn away from what only they can do.
'The good news is that if parents understand the pressures that bear down upon them, they can insulate themselves from it. They may still be anxious about their children's well-being, but at least it will be possible to put those fears into a more balanced perspective.'
Paranoid Parenting: Why Ignoring the Experts May be Best for Your Child (2nd edition) will form the cornerstone of a seminar series that has been organised by Professor Furedi and Dr Ellie Lee, also from the University of Kent. Titled 'Changing Parenting Culture', the series, which starts in January, will explore the way that the cultural meaning of parenting has expanded and how it has become an object in expertise and policymaking.
Story published at 12:47pm 27 October 2008