What is wrong with disciplining children? Battle of Ideas 2014

Oct 18-19, 2014 at The Barbican London

The Kent Centre for Parenting Culture Studies is a session partner for a discussion, What is wrong with disciplining children? 5.30-6.45pm, Saturday 18th October. Convened by Jan Macvarish.

Two high-profile speakers with strong opinions on the subject of parenting culture will discuss the issue of disciplining children. Swedish psychiatrist David Eberhard believes that his country’s cultural and political shift towards a child-centred society has been harmful for children and adults alike. In an interview for his book, How Children Took Power, Eberhard argued: ‘There’s no scientific evidence whatsoever that an authoritarian upbringing is harmful to kids. You can take command in the family. The family is not a democracy.’ Frank Furedi has been researching and writing about Anglo-American ‘parenting culture’ for 15 years, identifying the problems of weakening adult solidarity and the increasing mistrust in adult-child relationships, the overwhelming view of childhood as a time of life-determining vulnerability, and the tendency to hold parents to account for all manner of social problems. His best-selling book, Paranoid Parenting, first published in 2001, argues that parenting has become a key arena for policymakers, where the vulnerability of children is exaggerated and the abilities and interests of parents are denigrated.

Have we handed over too much power to children? Are we so concerned with children’s vulnerability that we are unable to effectively discipline them? Do we even know what values we need to instil in the next generation? Is effective parenting possible in a culture so wary of drawing a distinction between adults and children? Are parents too busy being friends with their children to show them who is boss?

Full details: http://www.battleofideas.org.uk/2014/session_detail/8954

Over the weekend there are lots of other discussions about childhood, parenting, society and politics, with many great speakers.

Saturday 19th October
10am The FGM Controversy
12pm ‘Cinderella law’: criminalising parental authority?
12pm Year of coding: programming kids for work?
12pm Computer says no? Vetting, barring and child protection revisited
2pm Forever friends? Negotiating online relationships
4pm The trouble with boys: is masculinity in crisis?

Sunday 19th October
10am Do films warp minds?
12pm Our morals, their moralism?
12pm Data overload: what is the point of exams?
2pm The science of public health: where’s the evidence?
2pm Are museums turning into playgrounds?
4pm Belgium’s ‘right to die’ for children: a slippery slope?