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I blame the mother: educating parents and the gendered nature of parenting orders

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There has been an increasing focus from policymakers, academics and journalists on parents as the source of their child's anti-social behaviour both in and outside of the formal school setting. One intervention proffered is the parenting order. The language of parenting orders and parenting interventions obscures a distinct truth, that parenting orders are really mothering orders. This paper draws on findings generated during interviews with 26 parents attending a parenting education programme in a city in the north of England. This paper explores the gendered nature of parental education, in that the overwhelming majority of parents ordered by the courts to attend parenting classes are women. The paper explores mothers' experiences of receiving coercive parenting education, examines the reasons why mothers were given parenting orders and explores the nature of these mothers' relationships with their child's school.
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Keywords: mothers; parenting education; parenting orders; parent–school relationships

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Law and Criminology,Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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