$26m..To Give Dads Text Tips On How To Bring Up Their Kids

  1. By LAURA CLARK - For The Dailymail



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    Text help: Fathers to get alerts on how to bring up their children.


    Fathers are to be sent tips by text message and email on bringing up their children.

    Ministers hope the £23million scheme will appeal to men because it uses "father-friendly" technology such as phones, electronic organisers and instant messaging.

    They will be encouraged to seek advice on ensuring children do not become obese and improving grades at school.

    A further £10.5million will be spent on telephone helplines offering parenting advice.

    The newly launched schemes are aimed at fathers and other groups who "may struggle to find the help they need". These include the parents of disabled children, those living in deprived areas and ethnic minority groups.

    The £23million will be ploughed into a Parent Know How innovation fund over three years.

    It aims to "engage" with parents using text messaging, email, messaging software such as MSN and Yahoo! Messenger and social networking websites. The scheme will attempt to ape the popularity of the site mumsnet.com which has 300,000 members. The grant funding for telephone helplines runs from 2008 to 2011.

    The Department for Children, Schools and Families cited research which said mothers and fathers wanted input from professional or published sources on parenting issues. Fathers were most likely to want to access it over the Internet.

    But ministers have run into trouble in the past after issuing advice to fathers. A £73,000 magazine giving advice to fathers on helping sons through school, which was later shelved, was condemned as patronising.

    It contained tips such as "make sure he's got somewhere comfortable to work away from the TV", as "he won't be able to concentrate if he's got his books on his lap in front of his favourite soap".
    On trips to the cinema, fathers were urged to ask educational questions such as: "If a film is estimated to make £10million at the box office and the distributor takes 40 per cent, how much will that be?"

    Launching the latest initiative, Children and Families Minister Kevin Brennan said: "We want to support those parents who seek help with bringing up their children.
    "By improving phone-line support and setting up text messages, instant messages and social networks, we will provide help for parents when it suits them best."