‘Guide to Subversive Parenting’ was a column I wrote for spiked between 2007 and 2011, around the publication of Standing Up to Supernanny.
- The new parenting catfight: Tiger Moms vs Fun Slobs. 26 May 2011
The nature/nurture debate is as unhelpful as ever in solving the problem of raising children.
- Bringing up baby is not an exact science. 28 September 2010
I’m not a neuroscientist or a psychologist, but I’m going to trust my gut feeling that most ‘parenting science’ is utter rubbish.
- Sure Start: a fancy new way to police the family. 22 June 2010
Sure Start’s main achievement has been to transform the social problem of child poverty into an individual problem of poor parenting.
- The ‘Mumsnet election’ doesn’t get my vote. 8 April 2010
Britain’s political leaders are fawning over professional, campaigning mums, but they still look down their noses at ordinary parents.
- There’s more to human character than sharing toys. 16 November 2009
Demos should go on the naughty step for arguing that parenting style determines whether kids become good, bad and even middle class.
- There’s more to parenting than egg production. 21 September 2009
Treating all women as mothers-to-be, who must conform to certain health and behaviour norms, turns us into little more than farmyard hens.
- Why parents should oppose vetting. 13 August 2009
For generations, parents invited other adults to help raise and care for their kids. Now those relationships are being corroded by the state.
- Hands off home education! 15 June 2009
The UK plan to clamp down on home-schooling, partly to ensure children aren’t being abused, is a serious assault on parental autonomy.
- Your child’s Body Mass Index is nobody’s business but yours. 27 May 2009
As part of its fatwa against fat the government is measuring every schoolkids’ height and weight. It’s a waste of time – and bad for children.
- Be sceptical about ‘bad childhood’ reports. 17 February 2009
With so many shrill studies telling us that parents are selfish and uncaring, is it any wonder some children might feel a little insecure?
- The kids don’t know it all. 15 December 2008
In Britain’s ‘new vision’ for primary education, adults are reduced to the mere flatterers of techno-savvy kids. It’s a recipe for ignorance.
- Strong families need more than money. 22 October 2008
With both the state and market proving unreliable, maybe families will look to each other for support in hard times.
- Not everyone you know is a latent paedophile. 18 September 2008
Allowing everyone to vet their neighbours and partners won’t save children from abuse, but it will have a poisonous effect on community life.
- Nobody needs a ‘Grandparents’ Charter’. 9 September 2008
The army of unpaid conscripts who look after their grandkids is growing – but they don’t need a rulebook to manage their childcare affairs.
- You don’t have to love your maternity leave. 17 July 2008
Month after month bonding with baby can be tiring and stressful. But dumping more of the burden on to men is no solution.
- An ‘action plan’ won’t stop teen drinking. 4 June 2008
The problem with teenage drinking is not their livers, but their lives: they’re sticking two blurred fingers up at today’s stifling adult culture.
- Parents are allowed to get drunk on holiday. 8 May 2008
The mad reaction to the story of a mum and dad who got paralytic in Portugal reveals a snobbish and unforgiving attitude towards parents today.
- School choice is a myth. 10 April 2008
The schizophrenic promotion/demonisation of parental choice in schooling leaves parents dejected, and kids no better educated.
- Concerns about older mothers are based on moralism, not medicine.11 March 2008
Let us challenge the ‘procreational ageism’ that labels teen mums as feckless Vicky Pollards and older mums as selfish career-obsessives.
- There’s nothing wrong with ‘electronic babysitting’. 22 January 2008
Ignore the organic-obsessed supermums and mumsy officials who say kids shouldn’t watch TV: there’s nothing wrong with electronic babysitting.
- Have a merry Christmas. 20 December 2007
Ignore the killjoys kicking up a fuss about pester power, toys-as-consumerism and secret paedophiles in Santa suits: Xmas with kids is fun.
- There is no right way to ‘Bring Up Baby’. 8 November 2007
The tantrums generated by the Channel 4 series Bringing Up Baby exposes our screamingly unhealthy obsession with parenting methods.
- Having children can be good for you — and society. 29 August 2007
In No Kids, a work of populist misanthropy, Corinne Maier taps into Western culture’s guilty secret: rhetorically it celebrates kids; actually it fears and dislikes them.
- Get real about nappies (and dustbins). 23 July 2007
Ignore the worthy exhortations to use ‘real nappies’ and wash clothes in cold water.
- Pregnancy does not damage your child. 29 May 2007
On the hectoring advice that is dished out to pregnant women about everything from food and booze to smoking and hair-dye.
- It’s not All About You. 11 April 2007.
On the proliferation of mummy identities.
- You and your child have the same interests. 19 March 2007
On the quest for ‘me-time’.