Television

TV influences Britishers in parenting

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MUMBAI: Television parenting programmes are having a powerful influence on parenting techniques in Great Britain today.

However a proportion of those who view such programmes (37 per cent ) believe that such programmes sensationalise family problems for public entertainment.
Most parents with children aged under 16 have watched at least one such programme and 83 per cent of these parents said they found a parenting technique that was helpful to them personally. These results are contained in a poll by Ipsos MORI for the National Family and Parenting Institute.

NFPI CEO Mary MacLeod, is writing to the programme makers asking them to make sure they act responsibly towards those families who take part and urging them to use the influence of their programmes to deliver high quality advice from skilled and knowledgeable professionals.

The main findings are:
• Parenting programmes are extremely popular, especially for parents: almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of parents with children aged under 16 have watched at least one parenting programme and 55 per cent of all adults have watched at least one parenting programme
• Parenting programmes are directly influencing parenting behaviour: more than eight in ten parents (83 per cent) who have watched parenting programmes found a technique from the programmes helpful to them.
• But parenting programmes are considered to sensationalise family problems for public entertainment by a large minority (37 per cent) of their viewers.

MacLeod said, “This survey emphasises that television parenting programmes are offering support that parents find applicable to their own lives. Parents seem to be identifying techniques they can use at home and the most popular techniques are those based around rewarding and praising children, which is excellent news.

“With 72 per cent of parents watching at least one such programme and 83% of those who watched finding at least one technique suggested useful, this is a good opportunity for those who make these programmes to get across the value and benefit of positive parenting techniques.

“But a significant minority of parents are expressing concerns about these television programmes. 37 per cent felt that they sensationalised family problems for entertainment while 14 per cent worried about the effect they had on the participating children. Producers must look at the potentially detrimental effects of their programmes on participating parents and children, especially as new formats seek out ever more troubled families to take part. For the sake of those who look to them for help and advice, they must offer good quality advice based on up to date research.“

“This is why I am writing to the producers of these programmes. It is vitally important that the influence that these programmes exert is a positive one and that they do not exploit those who take part. They have a clear responsibility to ensure that they are responsible in screening families, seeking children's consent, doing follow-up with families involved and using experts who are knowledgeable and skilled.”

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