Family First NZ says that the case of a Bay of Plenty couple feeling they could do nothing to stop their teenager growing dope in the bathtub of the family home is indicative of how powerless parents are feeling in their role.
“While the inaction of the parents is unacceptable, the current rights culture being preached to young people along with laws like the anti-smacking law has given an underlying message to young people that their parents cannot discipline them and cannot tell them what to do,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“The anti-smacking law has been hugely unpopular, not because parents are demanding the right to smack, but because they simply want the right to parent reasonably and effectively without unwarranted intervention. The law has had the effect of being an anti-parental correction law.”
“This case highlights just how de-clawed parents are feeling, and follows on from recent reports showing teenagers are becoming increasingly violent or threatening towards their parents and that some parents no longer have the confidence to deal with the unacceptable behaviour.”
“If the government wants parents to be responsible parents, they must firstly respect their authority,” says Mr McCoskrie. “The anti-smacking law and the rights culture pushed by the UN, Children’s Commissioner, Youth Law Project and others has undermined the role of parents, has failed to understand the special relationship and functioning of families, and has communicated to some children that they are now in the ‘driving seat’ and parents should be put in their place.”
“This case highlights just how much confidence parents have lost.”