"It's ludicrous that we should expect people to train for hours to drive a car or use a computer, but when it comes to looking after a baby we tell people to just get on with it": David Cameron.
The Prime Minister has a point. I can recall being presented with my first new-born some 20 odd years ago and panicking: I immediately signed up for the full six-day stay in hospital to work out what to do with him.
And while some of it was instinct, and trial and error, I'm not ashamed to admit that I learned lots from my own mum and from friends and other family members too.
But it doesn't get any easier: every milestone reached gives barely a moment for celebration before the next challenge presents itself.
Parenting is probably the hardest job most of us will ever do, and yet few of us arrive appropriately equipped to do it. That's why sources of reliable and trusted advice and information are so vital, if we are ever to feel that we are "good enough" parents.
The idea of vouchers to help towards the cost of parenting classes is not the worst one the Prime Minister has had, though it does raise the thorny issue of universality versus targeting of now-precious resources at those in most need of support.
Vouchers are not on the agenda here in Scotland just yet. Instead, we have the promise of a National Parenting Strategy, investment in children's earliest years and in family centres in communities.
At the same time, in England, an NHS information line is being set up to provide hints, tips, videos and texts to prospective parents, from conception to the first three months in life. But here in Scotland, we don't need this: we already have an advice, support and helpline.
It's called ParentLine Scotland and it's free and confidential to call or email trained volunteers, who above all else, provide a listening service. Open seven days a week and until 10pm on weekdays, ParentLine call-takers are trained to provide support on post natal depression, suicide assistance and child protection but they can and do signpost people to more specialist sources of help. Anyone concerned about a child can seek advice on what to do, about any problem big or small.
Mostly, it's there for parents and other family members who are raising children, often just to provide emotional support, to encourage them to know they are doing well, to realise that they are good enough.
And where a family is experiencing particular problems, such as over a child's behaviour – everything from the terrible twos to a teenager staying out late – people can arrange a regular call, for as long as they need the help and support.
It's this kind of advice and information that parents regularly say they'd like more of and to know where to go to find it. But there are other things we need to think of if we are to ensure parents and carers are confident and competent.
Being a parent does not exist in isolation. Job insecurity, financial worries, housing concerns, relationship problems and childcare issues all impinge and drain people's ability to devote time and energy to their children and to their family's sense of well-being.
Moreover, we need to ensure we are investing in preventing problems by "skilling up" the next generation of parents. That's why the kind of lifelong skills that children will learn through Curriculum for Excellence are so important – and why we should be spending time in schools preparing young people for becoming parents.
This mix of investing in parents' skills – just as we would do if they were learning to drive a car or training for a new job – as well as providing low-level support and information that can help prevent bigger problems arising for families through the likes of ParentLine will be more than enough for most.
Which ensures that there are appropriate resources available to help the few – very few - parents and carers who need more intensive help to give their children the best start in life.
ParentLine Scotland is free and confidential to call on 08000 28 22 33 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The helpline is open Monday-Friday 9am-10pm and weekends from noon to 8pm.
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