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Mandatory Family I.Q, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1046

Essay

One controversial subject for parenting is the need for mandatory education classes for new parents.  Research has shown the link between a child’s academic success and parental education. (Samuelson 1)  Therefore, should it be mandatory for all new parents to take parenting classes not only to ensure the health of their child, but to ensure their well being and success in school?  It is usually mandatory for people that are starting new jobs to have specific and in depth training in order to complete their job in the best manner.  In addition, it is required for individuals to go to school and learn the tools needed to be successful in life; therefore, why is it not mandatory for new parents to receive the education they need in order to perform their job as a parent?  A study conducted in 1990 evaluated 15 youth organizations in the United States and found that problems with the youth today result from bad parenting skills.  (Upledger Peru) In addition, previous studies have shown that children with parents who have a higher educational background, such as a college degree, are more likely to succeed in education. (Guardian News and Media Limited)  With that said, it seems that new parents who take parenting education classes will be more successful with their child’s educational future; therefore, government legislations should enforce mandatory classes for new parents.

There have been efforts on educational institutions to involve parents in workshops and classroom activities, as well as introducing the parents to parenting classes.  The efforts were put in place in order for parents to gain a better parental language and cognitive, or thinking, growth for themselves and their children.  For parents that were involved in such programs, children showed an improvement in behavior, academic work, and cognitive and social development.  (Chang 155)    For instance, in one study, mothers who participated in verbal activities with their preschool children from lower income families showed a significant increase in cognitive development.  (Change 156)

In a report written for David Cameron today, the author Frank Field recommended that all new parents should have parent classes.  The report stated that poor parenting skills were apparent at all income levels; however, it seemed to have more impact on the lower income levels.  The recommendation was still proposed for all parents in order to not signal out one social group.  In addition, the author stressed that parenting is the primary role in the outcome of the child’s education, rather than what income level their family is at. (Owen and Wintour)  The British government agrees with the need for enforced parenting classes.  The United Kingdom has put forth plans to force mothers and fathers to participate in parenting classes on how to be better parents.  If the parents do not attend these classes they will be fined a fee. The Education Secretary, Estelle Morris, in the United Kingdom has indicated that it was a difficult task for politicians to face; however, that it was a necessary cause because statistics were showing a substantial increase in unpleasant behavior observed at school in both children and parents.  (Guardian and News Media)

There are opposing arguments to these types of legislations as well.  For instance, in regard to the United Kingdom’s introduction of parenting classes for new parents, a representative from the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations was not recommending this program for legislation.  The representative indicated that a small amount of parenting classes would not fix problems that parents have in their parenting skills.  The representative also inferred that most of these types of families that need parental guidance are already part of the social service system and if they are ordered to pay a fine, that could result in the family lacking money for food and causing some sort of legal problem, such as stealing.  (Guardian and News Media)

Although, the opposing argument from the representative from the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Association makes some valid concerns regarding forced parenting classes, the representative is not looking at the big picture.  If parents are learning how to be better parents and getting some guidance on how to further their child’s education, they might learn some new skills and opportunities that are available to them as well.  In addition, their children may do better academically leading to a successful academic future.  It is absolutely impossible to change every individual in a society; however, there are individuals that are willing to learn new ideas or individuals that didn’t realize they were parenting wrong and are willing to change.  As Chang et al. (170) indicated in their research, parental involvement and parenting classes were an important factor to the change in the behavior of parents and in the increase of cognitive development in children from lower income families.  In addition, the study was able to pinpoint parenting classes as the major variable in change that was seen in both parents and children.

Since research conducted correlates a positive link between parenting classes and the academic success of their children, new legislations should be enforced in order to help our children grow and succeed academically.  These are our future leaders of tomorrow and in order to make sure they are being offered the best source of education, we must start with the parents.  The United Kingdom has evaluated the positive outcomes of parenting classes for both the parent and child and began enforcing parenting classes on new parents.  The United States should also consider some sort of program for new parents as well, as it could lead to greater success in academics for our children.

Works Cited

Chang, M., Park, B., Kim, S. Parenting Classes, Parenting Behavior, and Child Cognitive Development in Early Head Start: A Longitudinal Model.  The School Community Journal.  2009. 19(1):155-174.

Guardian News and Media.  Government to go ahead with parenting classes.  The  guardian.  2002. Retrieved on March 2, 2012 from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2002/mar/27/schools.uk.

Owen, P. and Wintour, P.  New mothers and fathers should have parenting classes – Frank Field report.  The guardian.  2011. Retrieved on March 2, 2012 from:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/dec/03/new-mothers-fathers-parenting-classes-frank-field

Samuelson, A.  Best Practices for Parent Education and Support Programs. University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Wisconsin.  Research to Practice Series 10. 2010.  8pp.  Retrieved on March 2, 2012 from: http://whatworks.uwex.edu/attachment/whatworks_10.pdf.

Upledger Peru. The importance of educating today’s parents.  2012.  Retrieved on March 3, 2012 from: http://upledgerperu.com/the-importance-of-educating-todays-parents.html

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