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Views & Reviews From the Frontline

Universal parenting classes won’t help conduct disorders

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 23 November 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7977
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}

Confidently, my brother threw the huge new bowie knife at the door. The handle hit the wood, and it bounced wildly backwards, narrowing missing my ear. We laughed.

“The best present ever,” my brother said.

Few children get knives as presents these days. We were a generation whose parents were distant. We were largely ignored, rarely affirmed, yet paradoxically free, independent, and self contained. Those were harsher days.

Today’s children seem not only materially indulged but also emotionally indulged and immature. I feel uncomfortable when parents suggest their children are their “best …

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