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Supporting families after the riots and the role of family law

Supporting families after the riots and the role of family law

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Published by Natasha Phillips
Panel Member, Sue Atkins' speech on Monday 12th December, 2011
Panel Member, Sue Atkins' speech on Monday 12th December, 2011

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Published by: Natasha Phillips on Dec 13, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Good EveningThank you so much for inviting me here this evening to discuss such animportant subject. You like me, were probably really shocked and horrified to watch the eventsunfold live on TV as it just seemed unbelievable that people from all walks oflife were raiding shops, nicking trainers and TVs, and randomly kicking inshop windows.I was particularly upset to see Reeves Corner, a family business that hadbeen in Croydon for generations, burn down as I used to shop there with myDad for beds and furniture, as we lived in Croydon for many years, and I just
couldn’t believe that it was torched and
it was so sad to see it burn down. The riots were due in my opinion, to a number of complex factors and ofcourse there is no one single, simple, solution but what disturbed me mostwas the discovery that despite more than 4,000 riot-related arrests, andharsher than average sentences in the courts, many of those interviewed said
they did not regret their actions !
And while I think there is an argument that the riots were caused by ageneration of children growing up with no hope and nothing to lose, and withan absence of "hopes and dreams
have these young people grown up
with these disturbing values that it’s OK
to steal and pilfer?I remember nodding fiercely in agreement with the Acting Commissioner ofPoliceTim Godwinwhen he spoke live on Sky News and asked:
where are your children?
as I DO believe parents have a key role inbringing up honest, law abiding, respectful adults with strong values of rightfrom wrong, and parents need to care enough to know where their kids areand with whom..Four years ago I read the UNICEF report on why children in the UK were so unhappy, so un-cherished and so un -nurtured. I was so incensed by the
Report the last time, that I stayed up until 2.30 am to record a video called
trying to be part of the solution to this very serious
problem.Four years later and
I see nothing has changed…… another UNICEF Re
another sad indictment of life as a child in the UK
and yet
parentingworkshops, parenting talks, parenting classes are all still taboo,stigmatised and frowned upon
as akin to therapy, counselling or implyingyou are broken or troubled if you want to be the best parent you can be.
We as a nation don’t do “self development” as we are far too sensitive to
being taught
how to bring up happy, confident, well behaved kids with strongvalues and big dreams a sense of
individual responsibility
.The definition of madness is to keep doing the same thing over and overagain; expecting a different result and this is like a four year cycle of failurehere in the UK.
We go on courses on everything from marketing to management yet wereceive literally no skills training for the most important job in the world
raising happy, confident well behaved, independent and sociallyresponsible adults.
I would like to see the Government taking up the mantle of making parentingworkshops less taboo, and as natural as goin
g to Ante Natal Classes…… free
from finger pointing and blame
because it’s not
JUST about poverty, or single
parenting …… it’s about
the MINDSET of making our children our priority,
and making it OK to explore our parenting techniques …… because childrenreally don’t come with a handbook
but they do need us to guide, nurture andteach them !Children spell love
and they don’t really need huge amounts of 
material things
they need our attention: our
not our
 and they need to feel that they are the most important people in our world.They need us as parents to pass on our values to them, to
them, to
play with
them, and to
read with
them and
have fun with them
buildinghappy memories that last a lifetime, and to nurture their dreams and to helpthem take small steps every day, every week and every year towards fulfillingthem. We need to hold high aspirations and expectations for our kids andteach them self discipline, right from wrong and social responsibility.We need to
mystify parenting, to simplify it, to make children’s emotional
well -being
to family life and to teach
parents the tools , thetechniques and strategies to make life with children rewarding, joyful, fun andenriching
free from finger pointing, judgment and criticism.I was pondering being a role model to my own children during the riots, whohave both recently turned 19 and 17 which lead me to write a blog that is onmy website called:

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