Thursday, June 26, 2014

Mandatory Parenting Classes

There are two very important jobs or careers that no formal training are offered.
One is the job of a president and the other is parenthood.  I will leave the problem of training presidents for more qualified people to worry about, but as far as parenting is concerned I have some definite ideas.  

I should confess that I did not have parenthood training myself. When I had my children all I know was what I had learned from my mother and my mother was a very good one if not the best.  Of course in preparation for my first child's arrival I read books, subscribed to Parents magazine, and after the baby's birth I ask a lot of questions from the pediatrician. 

But all the information available in books or magazines was not a guide for being a good parent, rather it was a haphazard collection of related subjects. Subjects such as breast feeding verses formula,  babies developmental stages, how to deal with sleep problems, fussy eaters or colicky babies.  All the other issues concerning the life of a growing child were left out.  Even if I was able to gather all the information in one place it would still not be a coherent book about good parenting. Also remember we did not have good old Google either. People with common sense or people who have good parents would learn by observing or just experiencing their upbringing. Unfortunately people with common sense are not so common anymore  and good parents are a rear and endangered species.  If you are a good parent and are reading this, don't protest, this is written for not so good ones. 

What prompted me to write about this issue is yet another story of a dead toddler who's father "forgot" about him and left him in his car for 7 hours in scorching 90 degrees heat. Good parents don't forget their children anywhere, because their first priority is the child. If you are a good parent and are driving you talk to the child, you know if he is sleep or wake, if it's his bed or feeding time. You are aware of his presence all the time.  Only horrible or stupid parents would forget to drop off their children at the day care before going to work, only those parents would not remember for 7 hour what they had done.

I have seen and heard too many stories of bad parenting and I have had enough. If it was up to me I would not let anyone get pregnant before passing an intense training for parenting. There should a law that makes this a requirement. As soon as a woman goes for her first doctor's visit for pregnancy the doctor should register her and her partner for classes and refuse to see any one who is not attending these classes.  Parenting classes should be offered in high school as a requirement for graduating.

There are parents who verbally and physically abuse their children. Parents who give cookies to their kids for lunch,  or give them fast food everyday for breakfast, lunch & dinner.  There are parents who put coke or pepsi in their toddlers' bottle instead of water or milk. I have seen too many tired, hungry and frustrated kids in strollers in stores while the idiot mother shops like there is no tomorrow.  I hate it when a kid says mom for tens of times and mom doesn't respond or a child is crying and no one asks what's the matter. These examples are bad but there are lesser degrees of bad parenting that we witness very day. There are parents who have no set bed time for their children, parents who don't wake up with their children to give them breakfast, parents who over indulge their kids with junk food, toys, clothes, gadgets,  parents who use curse words including the F word in the kids presence. The list could go on and on but you get the picture. 

There are hundreds of compelling reasons why there should be parenting classes for people before they have children, these examples are just a few.

But the most important reason of all is because parents raise the next generation of humans and they should make sure they are raising emotionally and physically healthy children.