Being a parent is not about a set of rules to follow to produce a happy, well-adjusted young person. If it were, in some ways, it would be a lot easier. In others, it would be far less interesting.
Whoever the parent is (including the state as corporate parent), families are essentially about relationships and how people relate both within their families and from them to the wider world. At its best, parenting is about love, kindness and caring. For many parents, particularly those in difficult circumstances, this is not easy to achieve and they may need extra help.
This section looks at what it means to be a parent; being a father; how differing family backgrounds affect people; and how different countries help families.
Strong, loving families are essential to ensure that all Scotland's children get the best start in life.
Parenting across Scotland/Ipsos MORI, 2010
Parenting: a life-course approach
Clare Simpson opens this essay collection by making the case for a national parenting strategy which creates the conditions for parents, and their children, to succeed.
What chance Scotland?
Alan Sinclair asks what makes a good parent and how the state can help improve equality of opportunity and support families out of inter- generational failure.
Good parenting: instinct or information?
Marion Macleod makes the case that investing in the workforce and changing our whole system so it works better for children and families should be at the heart of our parenting approach.
Protect the human: don’t stunt love
Maggie Mellon asks why we have children and what makes a parent. Drawing on her own experience of motherhood, she suggests what the national parenting strategy should do.
Scottish fathers: an absence in Scottish policies
Gary Clapton comments that, in order to work for everyone involved, a national parenting strategy must include mothers and fathers (and both sets of kinship networks). Practitioners and policy-makers need to review how services are delivered and the manner in which they are depicted in order to include fathers.