Oxford Brookes Professor examines modern parenting in BBC Radio 4 documentary

Monday, 15 June 2020

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The priorities of modern parenting will be examined by an academic from Oxford Brookes University in a BBC Radio 4 documentary to be broadcast tonight.

Tina Miller, Professor of Sociology, has been studying parenting and family life for the past 25 years with a particular interest in how parenting styles have changed over several decades. She has undertaken hundreds of hours of interviewing with mothers and fathers over the years and says there is a marked difference in what parents are expected to do with their children now, compared to when she first began her research in the 1990s.

Professor Miller said: “What did not concern the parents I studied in the 1990s much was whether or not their babies and young children were occupied in activities aimed at enhancing their cognitive development.

“And a generation on, that’s changed. Now I am studying a new group of mothers, whose children were born just a few years ago, and what’s clear is how commonplace it’s become to ensure your child, even at a very young age, is busy and productive.”

The documentary, Modern Parenting, is part of Radio 4’s long-running Analysis series, now in its fiftieth year. The series examines the ideas and forces which shape public policy in Britain and abroad.

The programme is due to air tonight, 15 June, at 8.30pm and will be available afterwards on the BBC website.