There are many good reasons for justifying child care education courses for teens, not the least of which is the current rate of teen pregnancies. Child care education courses provide valuable insight into human development, make teens more marketable as child care providers, help students better understand themselves, improve interpersonal relationships, and help create better parents for future generations.
Teenage pregnancies are inherently difficult. Young mothers are often without the emotional or financial support they need through this challenging time. Also, teenagers do not have the emotional maturity they need to be effective parents. That maturity only begins to develop after the frontal lobe of the brain becomes active in the early 20’s. Requiring a child care education course for all high school students is an excellent way to help remove the rose colored glasses that often fall into place when teenagers imagine having a baby with the person they feel attracted to. A rigorous and demanding curriculum can provide teens with a better understanding of what parenting is really about, as well as a better understanding of their own physical and emotional development.
Babysitting is still one of the best ways for teenagers to make some extra pocket money. A course on child care can provide teens with a marketable skill set that can help them better understand their responsibilities as baby-sitters, as well as provide them with a fundamental understanding of basic first aid and some developmentally appropriate games, stories, and other activities for their charge. In addition, providing professional, licensed child care services within one’s home can provide a lucrative income for otherwise unskilled workers.
Unrealistic expectations are one of the major causes of escalating frustration with babies and young children, not to mention the rest of the human population. When teens are required to successfully complete a child care education course, they gain a more informed perspective on what is normal behavior for babies and toddlers, thereby reducing the frustration that can lead to abuse and/or neglect.
Learning to understand the way babies and children develop emotionally, physically, intellectually, and socially is an excellent way to better understand everyone. We all start out as infants and we all go through the same basic developmental stages. A course on child care not only provides sensible what-to-do-in-an-emergency training, but it also helps teenagers develop better social skills at all levels by acquiring a better understanding of how people think, feel, and behave, from the inside out.
Child care is not simply a matter of plopping down on the living room floor with the television on. Raising and nurturing a young child is a profoundly important task that has been taken for granted in recent generations. By requiring high school students to take a child care education course, they will be better prepared for parenthood, they will have more skills, interacting with others, and they will have made themselves more valuable to both themselves and society, and isn’t that the goal of education?