The Think-tank Centre Forum published a ‘checklist’ of five tasks that parents should carry out daily.
Mirroring the ‘five a day’ eating campaign designed to encourage everyone to eat five pieces of fruit and veg a day, the ‘five a day’ parenting tips aims to help parents encourage their child’s development.
Think-tank’s ‘five a day’ parenting tips recommendations are as follows:
1) Read to your child for 15 minutes a day
2) Play with your child on the floor for 10 minutes
3) Talk with your child for 20 minutes with the television switched off
4) Be positive towards your child and regularly praise him/her
5) Always give your child a nutritious and well balanced diet
The ‘five a day’ advice is initiated at the UK’s attempt to ‘improve social mobility’. The report published on Think-tank highlights the importance on a child’s development during his/her early years as being essential in providing them with a better start in life.
The possibility of parents having to attend ‘parenting developmental classes’ in order to keep receiving child benefit payments is also mentioned in the report.
Talking about the importance of such interventional parenting steps being taken, Chris Paterson, the report’s author said:
“It is only by taking steps which actively encourage awareness and participation among parents from lower-income backgrounds that engagement with parenting and the home environment can move beyond a general tool for child development and become a genuine weapon against disadvantage.”
The report has been welcomed by many ministers, including Labour MP Graham Allen, who said, “A national parenting campaign is exactly what Britain needs.”
Not everyone is as welcoming of the ‘five a day’ parenting tips guidelines, with some viewing a ‘national parenting campaign’ as being an example of nanny state tactics and that they felt patronised that Think-tank should state such ‘obvious’ parenting tactics.