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Parents Centre Optimistic

For immediate release From Parents Centre

Parents Centre Optimistic

The government's decision to "park" the section fifty nine debate till next year has been met by an optimistic reaction from Parents Centre.

"We are pleased to hear that the government has focused on the need for parent education in all of this." said Sue Fitzmaurice, Chief Executive. "While much of the talk as been around the rights of the child and fears of imprisoning good parents, the heart of the issue is parents' skills.

"Very few parents who hit their children are violent people. They do it because they think it is the correct way to discipline children or they are simply frustrated at a certain behaviour. Ultimately they are hitting their children because they have not had exposure to other ways of controlling behaviour. It is societies failure to prepare people for parenting that leads to children getting hit."

"Parenting is a complicated, continually changing, twenty four hour a day role. To do it well parents need a good deal of knowledge ranging from child development to nutrition and a broad range of skills to help motivate and discipline the children in their care. Parents Centre is ready to work with the government in developing an education program for parents that seeks to broaden their understanding and skills, rather than make them feel guilty about hitting their children.

"Section fifty nine is a national embarrassment. It is a proclamation that we give parents the right to use "last measure" parenting skills because we are unwilling to invest in them through comprehensive education and support.

"We are hopeful that Mr. Maharey's remarks suggest that this government has a bigger vision for parents. Parents are the first rung on the knowledge economy ladder. They are the first ones to stimulate children and remain key to motivating and inspiring children as they grow. With a bit of political willpower New Zealand could have the best parenting environment in the world, and reap the rewards through generations of well rounded citizens.

Parents Centre has been supporting and training parents for over fifty years. It is New Zealand's largest parenting organisation with over 8,000 members.

Ends

For more contact Steve Gore 025 667 5260

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