Sergeant-major parents ‘just as bad’ as over-protective mums

Waikato Times 18 Nov 2011
A parenting expert has hit back at social commentator Celia Lashlie’s claims that over-protective mothers are the reason many young men kill themselves behind the wheel. Parent Inc presenter John Cowan says “sergeant major” parents are just as bad. His comments come after Mrs Lashlie yesterday said many teenage boys were being killed on the roads because their mothers smothered them and refused to let them discover the consequences of their own actions. And while John Cowan agreed there was some truth to Mrs Lashlie’s comments, he said children also rebelled against parents who were too strict. “The flipside is the sergeant-major parents who are too strict and set too many rules, those kids don’t get space to think either. Parenting is hard and there are lots of ways to get it wrong. There is no silver bullet for any parent, it is basically engaging in their wold, teaching by example, nurturing and setting limits.” Mrs Lashlie’s comments sparked a flurry of online comments.