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Turner on bringing up the kids in NZ

Media statement
For immediate release
Tuesday, 28 March 2006

Turner on bringing up the kids in NZ

United Future's family spokesperson, Judy Turner, says all New Zealanders will be appalled at today's remarks by the Chief Family Court Judge that New Zealand is no longer the best place in the world to bring up kids.

Judge Boshier says there is far too much domestic violence in the country and too many children are seeing their parents engaged in violence or being killed.

Mrs Turner says there is no one-shot solution.

"We need a whole-of-government look at why it is that we are raising generation after generation of citizens who do not have the basic life-skills to handle disappointments in an adult way.

"Overseas studies have found that juvenile delinquency is reduced by over 40% just by reducing the sugar content in the diet of at-risk youth.

"We need to take a hard look at the violence content on TV programmes and video games that desensitise young people and adults to violence.

"Too many New Zealanders lack oral language skills and resort to settling disputes with their fist.

"There's a need to equip parents with a proper range of strategies for managing oppositional behaviour, and there should be relationship courses like marriage preparation courses that help couples determine realistic expectations of each other and equip couples with dispute management skills.

"We need to check that our politically correct high school environment doesn't end up so cocooning young people that they grow up thinking that life is always fair and never lets them grapple with real difficulties at a time when they can be supervised through the process.

"Schools need to do more than fill a young person with knowledge; we need to be mindful of their character development as well," said Mrs Turner.


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