Archbishop urges parents re-think
Attitudes towards parenting need a radical re-think, the Archbishop of Wales has said.
In a speech to the Church in Wales' governing body in Llandudno, Dr Barry Morgan said parents must work hard to spend quality time with their children.
He said: "In our busyness and self-absorption we have simply lost sight of the big picture."
Dr Morgan said children were facing "huge social problems" and growing up in a society which fostered "greed".
Parents should be given help and advice to support them through difficult times, Dr Morgan added.
Dr Morgan said: "The recession is not something we can lay at the door of 'them' - the drunken youngsters, unmarried mothers, knife-carrying youths, anti-social gangs..."
"Its causes well and truly belong to 'us' - comfortable Britain."
Parents may know the "real needs" of children, said Dr Morgan, but "frequently refuse to recognise that these often come at a personal cost to our own needs and desires - be they compromises in our earning capacity or career development, or commitment to work at a relationship.
Children are the "responsibility of both parents", who should work hard to prevent family break-ups, he said.
Dr Morgan, 62, who is married with two children, stressed: "I am not saying that a woman's place is in the home. Fathers are no less important than mothers in a child's life.
"Nor am I saying that parents must stay together at all costs.
"Where there is a high level of conflict that cannot be resolved, or an abusive relationship, the child would obviously be better served if the parents separate."
He said children and young people are facing "huge social problems", exacerbated by the credit crunch, because they are growing up in a society that fosters "greed and individualism".
Turning to sex education, Dr Morgan said: "We have the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe."
He said that schoolchildren should be taught about the commitment and responsibility involved in parenting, alongside education about sex and contraception.
Dr Morgan said: "We need to be teaching these basic concepts, as well as parent-craft, from an early age.
"Particularly to those who have not experienced it first hand, and not simply informing them about the mechanics of a sexual relationship and contraception divorced from the basic concepts of love, responsibility and self-respect." THE BBC