Top psychologist says children need traditional values


A TOP Government advisor has recommended a return of good old fashioned family values in a bid to stem the increase of violent teens.

In response to the latest figures that show a sharp rise in violence by youngsters towards adults, Tommy MacKay, a professor of psychology at Strathclyde University and a leading authority on the subject in Scotland has said that traditional values should be brought back.

Professor MacKay supports the enforcement of school uniforms, encourages traditional family values and has spoken out against celebrity culture, as displayed in TV shows such as X factor.

He said that children were being negatively influenced by the ‘cult of self’ and that there was a need for greater respect of adults by children and teenagers.

Professor MacKay said: “Over the years there has been a fundamental loss of respect for parental and school authority and for the values previously instilled by the church.“Society is loosing its old anchor points and domestic violence is part of that pattern.

“We are sitting on an unexploded time bomb of disturbed behaviour.”

Despite a 4% drop in the population the rate of child-on-adult violence has increased three fold over the past decade.

Last year there was a 17% increase in the number of domestic abuse cases carried out by people aged 18 or younger, as documented in 1572 police reports.

Professor MacKay said that traditional Scottish standards had been eroded and strict parenting would be beneficial the future generations of Scotland.

He said: “Parents still have a duty to provide the foundations of traditional values by instilling in their children a respect for their parents and others.

He added: “Old ideas of sacrificial commitment for the benefit of others have sharply declined, as can be seen in the dozens of voluntary organisations that can no longer get the support and leadership they require.

“The old values have been increasingly replaced with the ‘cult of self’, and the highest ideal for millions is now seen in the celebrity culture which is idolised and to which so many people aspire.

“Expectations should be raised and set at the lowest possible bar.”

The Strathclyde University academic also argued that the education system is in need of reform and uniforms for all pupils should be encouraged.

he said: “In previous generations if a child told parents they had got into trouble at school the parents would blame the child. Now they blame the teacher.

“Children should wear school uniform – a uniform which was for everyone. Like everyone else, I was expected to wear one as a child from a very poor home in one of the poorest areas in Glasgow. Now school uniforms tend to mark out private schools and the wealthier classes.

“The uniform is a sign of being part of something bigger and more important than oneself and one’s own ‘self-expression’. It expresses the school and its values rather than the individual, and is also a sign of being under the school’s authority.

“It cuts out any idea of children competing to be equal to or better than others because they wear designer labels.”

A Government spokesperson said: “Children and young people are taught about having respectful relationships in schools. Importantly, with the introduction of our new curriculum, young people have opportunities to develop self-awareness, self-worth and respect for others, learn how to meet challenges, manage change and build relationships – all of which will be sustained into adult life.”