Family is a network that needs to be woven tightly to sustain one another when we face the world. In order to develop this strength, parents must work to teach life skills, develop stability, and instill values for their children. Parenting is one of the most difficult jobs which is why it was meant to be a collaborative effort. However, in today’s society many children are raised in dysfunctional families. It is for these reasons that I feel “Parenting” should become a mandatory course in high school.
When you get a new car, you receive an owner’s manual. It tells you what to do whenever various scenarios occur; it covers everything. Or, when you start a new job, you receive a handbook and run through an orientation. It is usually for the more difficult jobs that we would prefer to simply follow a book. Just our luck; the hardest job doesn’t come with a step-by-step manual. A child is born and the parents enter a mental and emotional rollercoaster. We all had to grow up so we presume that we should have a good idea from how our parents raised us as to what to do. In today’s day and age dysfunctional families take on different faces. We witness a fast paced society that leaves families with little time to interact and develop relationships. Children have become more oriented with their peers, and learning from their peers rather than from the experience of their parents or other significant adults in their lives. There is no quick fix or exit button. The truth is, as a pa! rent we will never know exactly how to do and answer everything. Hence, a course in Parenting would open up the opportunity to explore the skill set needed to parent effectively.
When we bring a child into the world it means that we are physically old enough to be a parent. There is an old Proverb that says, “It takes a village to raise a child”. Parenting was designed to be a collaborative effort of two adults at home, physically and emotionally. Community also includes extended family, teachers, and neighbours, and it is the parent’s responsibility to invite these individuals to join their child’s team. By no means is the task of developing a supportive, growing, and nurturing environment an easy job, which is why to be a good parent requires a certain amount of maturity and life experience.
A high school syllabus of a Parenting course states: “The course focuses on skills and knowledge needed to promote the positive and healthy nurturing of children, with particular emphasis on the critical importance of early years to human development. Learn how to meet the development needs of young children, communicate and discipline effectively, and guide early behaviour. Gain practical experience with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers and learn skills in researching and investigating questions relating to parenting.” Who will the future parents learn from? Will they have good role models? Will they have good relations with their own parents and be able to dialogue about the questions they need answers to?
Let us view Parenting as an equipping course that empowers our future parents with the foundation for developing positive relationships and raising a home, not a house.