Monday, December 06, 2004
I don't have kids. The problem that I find is that anyone can have a kid. There are no rules or guidelines about parenting. Oh sure, you have some laws that say that you can't abuse or neglect your kid. But it still amazes me to no end that people are required to take a competency test to operate a motor vehicle, but are allowed to raise children with no education, experience, or guidelines. And we all know that raising a child is infinitely harder than driving a car. (You can't put parenting on cruise control.)
Therefore, I would like to propose that there be either state or nationally mandated educational classes for all parents who are pregnant or have had a child within the past year. The classes would incorporate basic home economics, including but not limited to: Balancing a checkbook and the effective use of funds, basic culinary skills, basic nutrition, child psychology, basic child-rearing techniques (survey course of different methods), and effective communication techniques (both with your child and with other family members).
Balancing a Checkbook/Effective use of Funds
This course would guide parents and parents-to-be in basic economics. This is not talking about the Gross Domestic Product. This is guiding people in how to effectively manage their paycheck so that they do not accumulate more debt than they can handle. It would advise people of the pitfalls of credit cards and how easy it is to get in debt with them.
Basic Culinary Skills
This course would teach people how to cook basic meals for a family. It would include all the necessary skills to be able to cook simple, low cost food for your family. Some of the parts of the course would include portion management (how to cook just the right amount), stove-top skills, using a microwave for more than just T.V. dinners, etc.
This course would go hand in hand with the cooking course. It would be a guide for choosing foods that meet your families nutritional requirements.
This would be a very basic course in how children think and act. The goal would be to give parents and potential parents an idea of why their child acts they way that they do.
Basic Child-Rearing Techniques (Survey Course)
This would range from changing diapers to helping with homework. This course would give people practice in the necessary skills required for raising a child. Also covered in this course would be different methods of raising a child. (Spanking vs. Timeout, etc.)
Effective Communication Techniques
This course outlines how to be able to better communicate with your child and family without resorting to yelling and screaming. Also included would be effective tips for disarming hostile situations that could lead to yelling. This course would probably be helpful in reducing the number of divorces every year.
One problem that I can foresee is scheduling. How do you fit all of these classes in with a job? That will be a difficulty in the early years of the licensing process. The solution is to incorporate the classes into the required courses for high school students. Once the student has completed the courses, then he or she will be given their license and allowed to have children.
Now I know that this will not cure all of the problems that our society has, but it will enable our parents to be more prepared for the arduous task of bringing up a well-rounded, polite child in today's world.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 3:42 PM