Facebook Twitter Linkedin Google Plus Tell a Friend
Home| Columns| Features| International| In Dutch| Dictionary| What's On| Jobs| Housing| Expats| Blogs| Books
««« previousnext »»»

Parents should do a better job raising their kids, says minister

Thursday 17 January 2013

Parents should do a better job in raising their children to regard violence as unacceptable, home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk says in Thursday’s Telegraaf.

Parents are failing to do their job, leading to a lack of respect and increased verbal and physical violence directed at emergency service workers, civil servants and other officials, Plasterk told the paper.

The increased use of fast track trials and higher sentences to deal with offenders is only treating the symptoms, Plasterk said. Such measures are useless if children are not brought up properly.

‘The basis is what everyone learns at home. And, if that is done properly, the lesson should be ‘behave yourself’,’ the minister is quoted as saying.

His comments were made in anticipation of a new report on violence against civil servants.

Do you agree with Plasterk? Use the comment form below to have your say.

© DutchNews.nl

Subscribe Newsletter
News archives

Readers' comments (20)

But surely disciplining Dutch children would impinge on their freedom as children - and we mustn't forget - they are the happiest children in the world because they are the centre of the family universe and have the freedom to do as they wish!

By Namrac | January 17, 2013 9:25 AM

Yes I agree - furthermore, this is the basis of whole lot of the problems in NL society today. If mom or dad had told you that was wrong or improper when you were young, I would not have to do it now. Unfortunately, unless I want to get very confused myself, which I did here for a number of years, I now speak up and try and ask people here logically why they are behaving the way they are, when they begin behaving in an asocial manner. But I know why, because the parents never told them clear right and wrong normal social values. This was the Dutch version of freedom. I'm glad to see it in the open.

By B | January 17, 2013 9:44 AM

Unfortunately, parents spend less time with their children. They have to run around with a busy schedule to earn better “wealth”. The parents have no time to check their children. Even mothers of feeding babies have to rush to offices, leaving their kids to all kinds of risks.

By Highlander | January 17, 2013 12:05 PM

"Children being free" doesn't equall "children being disrespectful and violent". One person's limits stop where another person's limits start and children should be taught by their parents that true freedom and democracy starts when you express yourself while making sure that you're not violating another person's rights and freedom.

By p.a. | January 17, 2013 12:27 PM

It is not only up to parents. It is a complete society. I went to elementary school and I asked teacher there if they teach basic manners to kids, e.g. to call her with Miss and with "u" form. She told me everybody can call her by her first name and in "jij" form. That does have to do anything with respect. Yes,but...
So, I should teach my child to call grown ups with "u" ,except his teacher... or what? Where does it start and where does it end?

By Jane | January 17, 2013 12:42 PM

Yep I agree and furthermore someone needs to discipline the Dutch government

By Bobke | January 17, 2013 2:18 PM

@Highlander: your statement is sexist in that is assumes women have less responsibilities to work than men.

By A.L. | January 17, 2013 3:11 PM

I agree with Plasterk, Highlander and B. Parents today don't know how to "parent" another reason why there is a lack of interest in being a teacher now days... kids are not taught at home how to respect other adults, emergency service workers, civil servants and other officials

By dee | January 17, 2013 3:47 PM

What can we do if the basic concept of primary education is that teachers have to respect children and not that children have to respect teachers?

By Hollander | January 17, 2013 5:19 PM


Here comes the equality brigade again. If you read my comment clearly, it states that mothers these days are over committed and spend less quality time at home with there kids. I grew up in the 60's and I remember that children were more respectful then, and it was considered a disgrace if your children misbehaved at school, and did not respect their parents in private or in public?. Television, laptops, gadjets, and I-Pads are, unfortunately, the new babysitters. MTV and dumbed down reality shows will teach them little about the true values in life, and will only leave our children morally and socially bankrupt. Excessive liberalism, in our society's will eventually lead to social anarchy.

By Highlander | January 17, 2013 5:23 PM

Following that logic, maybe when politicians and bureaucrats show more respect the rest of the culture will follow.

By J. | January 17, 2013 5:46 PM

I also agree with Highlander: the pressure from holding down a job can interfere with time needed to spend with the kids..more stress now than in foregone years thanks to yours truly! :P

By The visitor | January 17, 2013 8:39 PM

Totally agree.kids here are disrespectful & don't recognize authority because it is not taught at home; not at school or in the community.when parents shout at teachers in front of their kids @ school what does that teach thr kid?working parents not having time to raise their kids properly;rubbish! Most dutch parents work part-time; sorry but that's a lousy excuse.parents in Asia & Africa work full time; their kids are respectful.I work full time; my kids have manners & respect 4 authority.

By Victoria | January 17, 2013 9:40 PM

Having lived in NL for 13 years and being a Dad to three children I always amazed at the different attitude to Dutch parents idea of bringing children up compared to mine (and my Dutch wife).

My wife has a sister whose idea of brining up her children (5 & 8) is to let them do what they like (mostly watch TV and ignore parents) and eat what they like (because otherwise they wont eat but hey sugar based products are always good for "well disicplined children").

It got a stage where my sister in law stopped coming to dinner with us as we were indirectly discipling her children by asking them to eat there food at a table(revolutionary ?)

By Brit Colin | January 18, 2013 7:25 AM

Yes, I agree. Parents are the ones supposed to educate the children. Society comes later in the role of educator. Ppl should clearly understand that one's freedom ends when someone else's freedom begin. In modern society this is often forgot.

By Francesco | January 18, 2013 8:19 AM

@Brit Colin. Totally agree. The standards that are taught to kids here are not the best. My neighbours children are awake nightly past 10pm (the eldest is less than 3 yrs old)... Discipline seems to be non-existent. Don't get me started on the lack of manners. Appalling.

By Expatio | January 18, 2013 8:48 AM

Pointing finger is always easiest. Every parenting is different. Different kids also required different parenting skills. As a minister, he should focus on creating a society safe and good for the kids to grow up. All the vices and over capitalism are no good for the kids.

By ufo | January 18, 2013 8:51 AM

As a house-husband I look after a girl and boy aged 3 and 6. At all times I try to encourage them to "be themselves" while respecting those around them. I make sure we all sit around the table together for a home cooked meal every night. I was very proud when their teachers told me how nice and polite they are. Anyway, in order to stop rambling I will just say that in the modern world women go to work and while it is advantageous for somebody to be a full time parent in the early years, it is possible for a male to fulfill that role.

By Darren | January 18, 2013 9:02 AM

Parents are scared to say no to their children these days, they want to be best friends not parents. When my son was small all the mothers at school complimented me on his manners, I don't understand why they didn't teach their own children if they liked them so much.

By Chezzie | January 18, 2013 4:03 PM

I totally agree, Darren. I hope you're enjoying being a house-husband because that sounds like a great job.

It takes a village to raise a child, it really does. Even if a child were taught well at home, they spend almost 8 hours a day at school. We need an entire society that is responsible for its young people, not more finger-pointing.

By Stupid | January 18, 2013 6:34 PM

Leave a comment

(E-mail will not be published)

(Please limit your comment to 120 words)

Keep it civil. Postings which contain racist, sexist or homophobic language or which insult other correspondents will not be published. Publication is at the discretion of the editor and DutchNews.nl reserves the right to edit or shorten comments.


Newsletter| RSS| Advertising| Business services| Mobile| Friends| Privacy| Contact| About us| Tell a Friend
Apartments for rent Rondvaart - Amsterdam