Magazine article The Spectator

Raised in the USSR

Magazine article The Spectator

Raised in the USSR

Article excerpt

From Jana Edmunds Sir: Your leading article 'A nation of babysitters' (17 February) hinted at a truth behind the problem faced by Britain in relation to childcare. I was a teenage mum, and became a single parent aged 22, living on benefit in the 1990s while bringing up two children.

Yet in spite of a crippling financial burden, an unsympathetic welfare state and unrelenting social prejudice, I raised my children with love, instilling in them at a young age a thirst for knowledge and a strong family bond. How did I do it? Or more pertinently, why am I different from the statistical norm?

The answered lies in culture. Britain is still suffering from the 'children should be seen and not heard' syndrome. I was brought up in the 1960s Soviet Union by two women, my mother and grandmother. …

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