Jay Cronan

Teachers slam modern parents

QUEENSLAND’S parenting standards are so woeful prep school children often have no social skills and do not understand simple commands such as “stop” and “don’t do that”, the Queensland Teachers’ Union has claimed.

Union vice-president Julie Brown said the introduction of prep classes at public schools in recent years had highlighted the lack of discipline some parents were giving their children.

“Prep school teachers tell me they are tired of dealing with children who do not even understand basic commands like ‘stop’, ‘come here’ and ‘don’t do that’,” Mrs Brown told The Queensland Times.

“It is astounding.”

“Prep school teachers have been bitten, kicked, scratched and punched. They have also witnessed children biting and kicking other students.”

Last week The Queensland Times reported that several schools in the region have classes in which more than half of students have been diagnosed with behavioural disorders.

Thousands of Ipswich students are due to return to school today and tomorrow the Federal Government will release the performance statistics of every public school in country on its MySchool website.

Yesterday Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard said releasing the information would “put pressure” on schools to raise standards and urged parents to have “robust conversations” with teachers and principals if they are unhappy with their school’s performance.

But Ms Brown believes parents should be doing more to help teachers by teaching children how to behave properly.

“Children are coming to prep under-parented,” she said.

“They need more old-fashioned parenting, more discipline.”

Ms Brown said there had been a negative change in the behaviour of children during the past decade.

As well as being ill-disciplined, she said many youngsters had little idea of how to share with others.

She said the dislocation of modern families was part of the cause of poor parenting.

“Young families often move from their grandparents and sisters and brothers now,” she said.

“These are the people who used to provide key parenting advice, because they already had that experience, but now young couples often move from that base.”

While prep school is not compulsory, it is now highly attended. It is available in all Queensland state schools while most non-state schools also offer their own programs.

No one from Education Queensland was available to comment.

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