Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Parenting Education

Why don’t schools train their students to become parents?
There are two parts to becoming an adult: having a job and having a family. Schools prepare children for a job, and parents prepare their children for their future families. But what if a child has bad parents? Schools have sex education, but not parenting education. And, since sex education often fails, why don’t they follow it up with parenting education? People don’t just know how to take care of a baby.

At one time last year, I taught 13 pregnant girls between the ages of 15 and 18. They don’t know how to raise a child; they don’t even know how to take care of themselves while they’re pregnant. Some of them still party and drink alcohol while they are pregnant.

Parenting education would be even better than pre-K. The only argument against it that I can think of is that people don’t all want to raise their children the same. That’s fine, but they should at least know the facts about how children develop and the effect parents have. And students should at least think about what kind of parent they want to be, like “What values do I want to teach my child?” “What kind of environment do I want to raise my child in?” “What role will my extended family play in my child’s life?” “Am I going to work or stay home and raise my child?” “Do I want my child to be religious?” People don’t wake up and become the parents they want to be; they wake up and become just like their own parents.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think there are more than two parts to becoming an adult, and I might not even list the two you named. I certainly don't think having a family has anything to do with defining how one might become an adult. I own my own home and car. I have a job, and I put away money for retirement. I pay my bills on time, feed my dog, clean my house, mow the lawn, and give to charity. I keep normal hours, sleep in a real bed, don't wake up with hangovers, have vegetables in my refrigerator, don't feel the necessity to stay for last call, and don't shop at Wal-mart at 3:00 am anymore. All of those are "adult" things, but am I somehow not really an adult because I don't have a family? I almost had a fiance once, which might have led to a family, but I decided that I didn't want a fiance/husband, much less the responsibility of a family. Does that somehow make me less adult? I'd argue that it makes me more so, because I don't feel the need to do certain things just because someone else thinks I should do them. I'd argue that self-awareness and responsibility for choices and actions are much better indicators of adulthood than having a job and family. I know plenty of people who have jobs (even financially secure ones) and families, that are a far cry from adulthood.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Joel Hebert said...

Sexual maturity is part of adulthood. If you have the sexual equipment to produce a child, you are physically an adult.

I think Tiffany's idea to have parenting classes is right on the money. I think it should be a required class for boys and girls.

3:22 PM  

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