Ombudsman: 'Parents need parenting classes'
Parents should take parenting classes before they have children, that's according to Children's Ombudsman Marc Dullaert.
The ombudsman thinks these classes could help prevent child abuse.
“It should be normal to take parenting classes the same way it’s normal for pregnant women to attend prenatal classes,” says Mr Dullaert.
Parenting classes teach expecting parents how to deal with feelings of frustration and impotence. The Children’s Ombudsman says both Norway and Sweden have seen a reduction in child abuse since their introduction of parenting classes.
Every year an estimated 118,000 children become the victims of child abuse, which includes both psychological abuse and physical abuse such as neglect.
The Children’s Ombudsman has sent an urgent letter to parliament in which he argues that the government’s approach to the problem has failed.
The cabinet has made local councils responsible for taking action against child abuse, but only one-quarter actually pay any attention to the issue.
In Dutch daily , Mr Dullaert said “We call it an epidemic if 15 in every 100,000 people have ‘flu. With child abuse, it’s 34 children in every 1,000. And then, we’re only talking about the number of reports. You probably have to multiply this by two.”
A recent study shows that there is at least one abused child in every class room.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide