From Commitment to Parenting

Lesson powerpoint here

  • Complete Explore evaluation forms.
  • Ask students to discuss with each other what they learned from their experience with the Explore couple.
  • Play one of the videos from the 56Up series (either Tony, or Suzy and Nick) Ask students to notice how the couple coped with the challenges they faced, and in particular, when they became parents.

From commitment to parenting.

  • Discuss the suggestion that the most important job humans can ever do (being a parent) has no formal training for it. Lord Layard argues in the Good Childhood Report that education in parenting should be compulsory in British schools.
  • Ask students in small groups to discuss if he’s right, and if so, what parenting education should include and where/when it should happen.
  • Put up the slide with ‘responsibilities of parents?’ on it and ask the students to prioritise the ones that are there, remove any they think are false and add in any they think are missing.
  • Ask students to think about what their own deepest wishes are for being parents themselves. What will they do that their parents have done for them? What will they avoid?
  • Discuss.
  • Ask students to read either ‘This be the verse’ by Philip Larkin (on slides) or the extract from ‘Why be happy when you could be normal?’ by Jeanette Winterson.
  • What do they think these stimuli tell us about parenting?
  • Discuss.
  • Ask students, in small groups, to try to identify some of the dilemmas and choices that they might face as parents. There is a slide with some prompts on it.
    Suggest to students that their parenting choices will come from their values. Their values, largely, come from their own parents and experiences of childhood (as suggested by Philip Larkin). Ask students to discuss how they can make sure that their values, choices and what is in their children’s best interest come together. There are some ideas on the slides.
  • Discuss.
  • Ask students to identify how they are going to prepare themselves for parenting and when they will do this.

Prep: ask students to write their own manifesto for being a parent. How will they bring up any children that they have/adopt/foster in the future?