Parenting experts and celebrity mums and dads unite for

5 April 2006

Darren Gough, Gary Rhodes and Emma Freud, amongst many others1, have joined forces with the DfES and the UK’s top parenting organisations2 to create the ‘Parent Know How’ campaign. This is in response to powerful evidence which shows that mums and dads getting involved with their children, particularly at home, is the single most important factor in a child’s development and future success, even taking into consideration wealth, education and other external factors3.

Most parents will come across difficulties with parenting at some point or another and need help and support, but, many mums and dads feel that asking for help is an admission that they must be a ‘bad’ parent.

The ‘Parent Know How’ campaign has been developed to break down some of the perceived barriers to asking for help. It will also offer some simple, practical advice to help give mums and dads the confidence and ‘know how’ to make the most of their relationship with their child.

The campaign encourages parents to get involved with their children and highlights three achievable ‘Together’ messages:

1. Eat together at least once a week
Sitting around the table without the distraction of the TV is a crucial time to listen to what is going on in your child’s life. Regular meal times together reinforces the ‘family’ unit helping to provide stability for your child

2. Have fun learning together
Even just asking children to recall what they learnt at school each day will improve your child’s confidence, help imbed newly learnt information in their minds and help develop their communication skills

3. Keep fit together
Spending time together is the key to a healthy relationship and joint experiences often help form bonds between you. Engaging children, in particular teenagers, in an activity like an evening jog may give you the distraction you need to get them talking, whilst at the same time improving your fitness

Duncan Fisher, Chief Executive of Fathers Direct says:
Fathers Direct supports the Parent Know How campaign as it highlights the positive influence that both fathers and mothers can have by making the most of even the simple ‘everyday’ time they spend together with their children. The campaign also helps parents realise that they are not alone and that there is help out there for anyone who wants it."

Mary McLeod, CEO of the National Family and Parenting Institute says:
“There is no one right way to be a parent. Everyone is different and there are many right ways. But parents tell us that they welcome getting ideas, especially from other parents, about how to manage the tricky times; like getting children to eat what is good for them, activities that are fun to do and how they can help their children learn. The ‘Parent Know How’ campaign highlights a set of simple ideas for parents – ideas that other parents have found can help make family life easier and keep children happy.”

Dr Pat Spungin, parenting expert and founder of Raisingkids.co.uk adds:
“Raisingkids.co.uk wholeheartedly supports the ‘Parent Know How’ campaign, as it acknowledges that being a parent is an ongoing learning process and there is always more to learn. “

Dorit Braun, Chief Executive of Parentline Plus also adds:
“At Parentline Plus we hear from thousands of parents and carers who are desperate for support and for quality information. Over half of all the parents that contact the charity say how isolated they feel; to know that other parents are going through a similar experiences can make all the difference in helping parents take positive steps forward for them and their families. We support the ‘Parent Know How’ campaign which will help to ensure that information is freely available when parents need it the most.”

For more simple tips and advice from Parent Know How, contact: www.raisingkids.co.uk, www.parentlineplus.org.uk & www.parentscentre.gov.uk  

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