Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Parents urged to get off treadmill

Claire Perry, the MP for Devizes, said children's lives are too regimented with organised activities
Claire Perry, the MP for Devizes, said children's lives are too regimented with organised activities

Parents are smothering their children, leaving them unable to cope by themselves as they grow up, Prime Minister David Cameron's adviser on childhood has said.

Claire Perry, the MP for Devizes, said children's lives are too regimented with organised activities, and parents were shying away from laying down the law to their children.

Mrs Perry, 48, is Mr Cameron's adviser on the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood.

In an interview with The Times the mother of three also hit out at parents' lack of knowledge over what their children were doing online.

"We've created a treadmill, it's usually the mother that is orchestrating all of that and doing all the driving," said Mrs Perry.

"We have created rods for our own back. Children need time to be bored."

Mrs Perry, who took a seven-year break from her career in management consulting when her children were young, said mothers were often behind youngsters' cosseting because their own careers struggle when they start a family.

She said: "A lot of it is women who, because it is difficult to get on, subjugate their own ambition into their kids.

"That makes it harder when they get to university and realise they haven't got a mother to help them with their homework, watching their every move.

"We've all done it. Now, I just can't, so I don't, and I think they're probably better off as a result."

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