One in four parents avoid disciplining their children because they want an “easy life” and fear upsetting them, according to a new survey.
The survey, commissioned by the Cadet Forces, portrays a dire picture of parental discipline in the UK.
It reveals that parents are often reluctant to discipline their children because they fear being seen as too strict or unfair, and that 30 per cent of parents describe themselves as being a “pushover”.
The survey shows that 55 per cent of parents in the UK see themselves as “more of a friend than a parent”, and would rather talk things through with their children than discipline them.
A spokesman for the Cadet Forces said: “Discipline is all part of growing up and it’s important for children that they are taught the difference between right and wrong.”
The spokesman added: “Our survey suggests that parents tend to avoid ticking off their children because its easier than having to deal with them kicking up more of a fuss.”
The study also revealed that many parents are concerned about the dangers of not disciplining their children.
Over a third of parents fear that a lack of boundaries could lead to their children getting into trouble, and 85 per cent of parents believe young people have little or no discipline.
The survey also revealed the benefits which stricter discipline can have with 55 per cent of the respondents admitting that their parents had enforced stricter discipline.
Eight out of ten respondents said that one telling-off would have curbed their bad behaviour as a child.
Last November a major study concluded that children who receive ‘tough love’, a combination of warmth and discipline, from their parents have the best chance of doing well in life.
The study found that parenting style, not economic background, is the most important factor determining a child’s development of positive qualities such as self-control, empathy and determination.
And top psychologist Dr Aric Sigman has said that parents who fail to exert authority have bred a “spoilt generation” of children who believe adults must earn their respect.
Dr Aric Sigman’s book The Spoilt Generation, published last October, shows that many social problems, including teenage pregnancy and anti-social behaviour, are due to a lack of discipline.