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Old 11-02-2020, 12:18 PM
 
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“This is the most important job we have to do as humans and as citizens … If we offer classes in auto mechanics and civics, why not parenting? A lot of what happens to children that’s bad derives from ignorance … Parents go by folklore, or by what they’ve heard, or by their instincts, all of which can be very wrong.”
—Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School


I once read an ironic quote from a children’s health academic that, “You have to pass a test to drive a car or to become a … citizen, but there’s no exam required to become a parent. And yet child abuse can stem from a lack of awareness about child development.”

By not teaching child development science along with rearing to high school students, is it not as though societally we’re implying that anyone can comfortably enough go forth with unconditionally bearing children with whatever minute amount, if any at all, of such vital knowledge they happen to have acquired over time? It’s as though we’ll somehow, in blind anticipation, be innately inclined to fully understand and appropriately nurture our children’s naturally developing minds and needs.

A notable number of academics would say that we don’t.

Along with their physical wellbeing, children’s sound psychological health should be the most significant aspect of a parent’s (or caregiver’s) responsibility. Perhaps foremost to consider is that during their first three to six years of life (depending on which expert one asks) children have particularly malleable minds (like a dry sponge squeezed and released under water), thus they’re exceptionally vulnerable to whatever rearing environment in which they happened to have been placed by fate.

I frequently wonder how many instances there are wherein immense long-term suffering by children of dysfunctional rearing might have been prevented had the parent(s) received some crucial parenting instruction by way of mandatory high school curriculum.

Additionally, if we’re to proactively avoid the eventual dreadingly invasive conventional reactive means of intervention due to dysfunctional familial situations as a result of flawed rearing—that of the government forced removal of children from the latter environment—we then should be willing to try an unconventional means of proactively preventing future dysfunctional family situations: Teach our young people the science of how a child’s mind develops and therefor its susceptibilities to flawed parenting.

Many people, including child development academics, would say that we owe our future generations of children this much, especially considering the very troubled world into which they never asked to enter.

Certainly, some will argue that expectant adults can easily enough access the parenting experience and advice of other parents in hardcopy and Internet literature, not to mention arranged group settings. However, such information may in itself be in error or misrelated/misinterpreted and therefor is understandably not as beneficial as knowing the actual child development science behind why the said parental practice would or would not be the wisest example to follow.

As for the likely argument that high school parenting courses would bore thus repel students from attending the classes to their passable-grade completion, could not the same reservation have been put forth in regards to other currently well-established and valued course subjects, both mandatory and elective, at the time they were originally proposed?

In addition, the flipside to that argument is, such curriculum may actually result in a novel effect on student minds, thereby stimulating interest in what otherwise can be a monotonous daily high-school routine. (Some exceptionally receptive students may even be inspired to take up post-secondary studies specializing in child psychological and behavioural disorders.)

In any case, American experience and studies indicate that such curriculum is wholly useful, regardless of whether the students themselves plan to and/or go on to procreate.

For one thing, child development and rearing curriculum would make available to students potentially valuable knowledge about their own psyches and why they’re the way they are.

Physical and mental abuse commonsensically aside, students could also be taught the potentially serious psychological repercussions of the manner in which they as parents may someday choose to discipline their children; therefore, they may be able to make a much more informed decision on the method they choose to correct misbehaviour, however suddenly clouded they may become in the angry emotion of the moment.

And being that their future children’s sound mental health and social/workplace integration are at stake, should not scientifically informed parenting decisions also include their means of chastisement?

Our young people are then at least equipped with the valuable science-based knowledge of the possible, if not likely, consequences of dysfunctional rearing thus much more capable of making an informed choice on how they inevitably correct their child’s misconduct.

It would be irresponsibly insufficient to, for example, just give students the condom-and-banana demonstration along with the address to the nearest Planned Parenthood clinic (the latter in case the precautionary contraception fails) as their entire sex education curriculum; and, similarly, it’s not nearly enough to simply instruct our young people that it’s damaging to scream at or belittle one’s young children and hope the rest of proper parenting somehow comes naturally to them. Such crucial life-skills lessons need to be far more thorough.

But, however morally justified, they regardlessly will not be given such life-advantageous lessons, for what apparently are reasons of conflicting ideology or values.

In 2017, when I asked a BC Teachers’ Federation official over the phone whether there is any childrearing curriculum taught in any of B.C.’s school districts, he immediately replied there is not. When I asked the reason for its absence and whether it may be due to the subject matter being too controversial, he replied with a simple “Yes”.

This strongly suggests there are philosophical thus political obstacles to teaching students such crucial life skills as nourishingly parenting one’s children.

Put plainly, people generally do not want some stranger—and especially a government-arm entity, which includes grade school teachers—directly or indirectly telling them how to raise their children. (Albeit, a knowledgeable person offered me her observation on perhaps why there are no mandatory childrearing courses in high school: People with a dysfunctional family background do not particularly desire scholastically analyzing its intricacies; i.e. they simply don’t want to go there—even if it’s not being openly discussed.)

A 2007 study (its published report is titled The Science of Early Childhood Development), which was implemented to identify facets of child development science accepted broadly by the scientific community, forthrightly and accurately articulates the matter: “It is a compelling task that calls for broad, bipartisan collaboration. And yet, debate in the policy arena often highlights ideological differences and value conflicts more than it seeks common interest. In this context, the science of early childhood development can provide a values-neutral framework for informing choices among alternative priorities and for building consensus around a shared plan of action. The wellbeing of our nation’s children and the security of our collective future would be well-served by such wise choices and concerted commitment.”


“It’s only after children have been discovered to be severely battered that their parents are forced to take a childrearing course as a condition of regaining custody. That’s much like requiring no license or driver’s ed[ucation] to drive a car, then waiting until drivers injure or kill someone before demanding that they learn how to drive.”
—Myriam Miedzian, Ph.D.
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Old 11-02-2020, 12:54 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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I agree, that child development/psychology should be taught in the schools, but then, I think a lot of topics that aren't covered in school should be required: Anatomy & Physiology, environmental science or atmospheric science, to name a couple. HS grads should have a good understanding of how the human body works, how the natural world and the planet work, and a good idea of what a tremendous responsibility bringing a child into the world is, and raising that child.

This, though, immediately raises questions about educational policy, school budgets, and other thorny issues, that the US can't seem to get a handle on. The public school system in many locales can't even manage to teach its students how to read, to say nothing of that Gordian knot that confounds the field of math instruction! I don't know how realistic it is, to add more required subjects to a Middle School and High School curriculum. Although European countries and other parts of the world manage to cover a lot more subjects than many US schools...
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Old 11-04-2020, 08:02 AM
 
13,433 posts, read 17,012,246 times
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I don't agree with teaching child development and psychology in high schools.
I don't agree with categorizing and stereotyping everything a child does.
Children grow up physically and mentally at different rates.
Taking a child psychology course will not (in my opinion) make someone a better parent.

Maybe a course in contraception would be more advised.
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Old 11-04-2020, 03:30 PM
 
11,929 posts, read 4,770,768 times
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I graduated from H.S. back in 75, and we had child development.
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Old 11-04-2020, 03:45 PM
 
11,929 posts, read 4,770,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purehuman View Post
I don't agree with teaching child development and psychology in high schools.
I don't agree with categorizing and stereotyping everything a child does.
Children grow up physically and mentally at different rates.
Taking a child psychology course will not (in my opinion) make someone a better parent.

Maybe a course in contraception would be more advised.
There is SO MUCH that is beneficial about Child Development science. Like...knowing milestones to look for, so if the typical child isn't meeting those milestones, the parents can seek help. Or knowing basic nutrition. My friend, who's a nurse, knew of a young couple who's toddler died, all because all they gave the child to eat was cream. Yes, the toddler was filled out...but his nutritional needs weren't being met. Maybe if they'd taken a Child Development course, they would've known that.


Also, there's little tricks that make living with a toddler a little easier...


A million things to make life easier for everyone. It's good knowledge to have.
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Old 11-05-2020, 07:28 AM
 
13,433 posts, read 17,012,246 times
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I disagree...what about the child who's not "typical"? Wrapping all children into that "typical" category is wrong..and many children suffer because of it.
I don't know of any animal on earth that doesn't have the instinctual know how to keep their babies alive by feeding them adequate food if available.
I could never feel sad for a couple who starves their child to death, and then claims ignorance on nutritional needs.
I don't want a public school telling my kids what they should or shouldn't do when it comes to rearing their children, and my grandchildren.
They'd be better off teaching basic first aid, starting in grade 1...or having them (and giving them the opportunity, which most don't) just to wash their hands before eating lunch.
Maybe the schools should teach basic hygiene and cleanliness...that in itself could prove most valuable.
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Old 11-05-2020, 09:41 AM
 
11,929 posts, read 4,770,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purehuman View Post
I disagree...what about the child who's not "typical"? Wrapping all children into that "typical" category is wrong..and many children suffer because of it.
I don't know of any animal on earth that doesn't have the instinctual know how to keep their babies alive by feeding them adequate food if available.
I could never feel sad for a couple who starves their child to death, and then claims ignorance on nutritional needs.
I don't want a public school telling my kids what they should or shouldn't do when it comes to rearing their children, and my grandchildren.
They'd be better off teaching basic first aid, starting in grade 1...or having them (and giving them the opportunity, which most don't) just to wash their hands before eating lunch.
Maybe the schools should teach basic hygiene and cleanliness...that in itself could prove most valuable.
Well, obviously I can't say all schools do the same thing, but again...when I was in high school, we had a health class where basic hygiene and cleanliness were taught, as well as other topics of general health and welfare, and basic first aid, as well as reproduction health. We had a home ec class, where nutrition was taught, as well as how to prepare a meal.


And I disagree regarding typical vs. atypical. It's good to know what to look for, what the parameters of normal development are, because the sooner you know, the sooner you can get help for your child.


Surely, if the teacher told you that your child seems to have trouble seeing the chalk board, and suggests getting his/her eyes checked, you'd do so. You wouldn't want your child going through his/her school life not being able to see, would you?


What if the kindergarden teacher tells you your child seems to have behaviors that indicate he/she might be ADHD, or be on the autism scale...would you just let the child flounder around, struggling? Or would you seek help for the child?


Knowing what normal parameters are is a good thing.
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Old 11-05-2020, 09:53 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
88,518 posts, read 82,591,369 times
Reputation: 93004
Quote:
Originally Posted by purehuman View Post
I disagree...what about the child who's not "typical"? Wrapping all children into that "typical" category is wrong..and many children suffer because of it.
I don't know of any animal on earth that doesn't have the instinctual know how to keep their babies alive by feeding them adequate food if available.
I could never feel sad for a couple who starves their child to death, and then claims ignorance on nutritional needs.
I don't want a public school telling my kids what they should or shouldn't do when it comes to rearing their children, and my grandchildren.
They'd be better off teaching basic first aid, starting in grade 1...or having them (and giving them the opportunity, which most don't) just to wash their hands before eating lunch.
Maybe the schools should teach basic hygiene and cleanliness...that in itself could prove most valuable.
IME, the schools do teach contraception, and hygiene, often both are part of a "health" class.

Developmental psychology, as Sassybluesy explained, doesn't "tell kids what they should or shouldn't do" in rearing their own (future) children. It teaches brain development, so parents have a general guideline of what their child is able to do, learn, assimilate, at what age, give or take. There are parents who would punish a 2- or 3-year-old for not behaving a certain way or not performing certain tasks, not knowing that at such a tender age, the child isn't capable of doing what they expect. Their expectations are completely unreasonable, but they berate and punish the child, out of ignorance.

Just one example. One common refrain of new parents is, that "babies don't come with a manual". Suddenly, parents may feel lost to some extent, and overwhelmed by the tremendous responsibility they have for the new life they created. Developmental psychology is the manual they're seeking. It's a guide, it's not a rulebook.
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Old 11-05-2020, 10:36 AM
 
11,929 posts, read 4,770,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
IME, the schools do teach contraception, and hygiene, often both are part of a "health" class.

Developmental psychology, as Sassybluesy explained, doesn't "tell kids what they should or shouldn't do" in rearing their own (future) children. It teaches brain development, so parents have a general guideline of what their child is able to do, learn, assimilate, at what age, give or take. There are parents who would punish a 2- or 3-year-old for not behaving a certain way or not performing certain tasks, not knowing that at such a tender age, the child isn't capable of doing what they expect. Their expectations are completely unreasonable, but they berate and punish the child, out of ignorance.

Just one example. One common refrain of new parents is, that "babies don't come with a manual". Suddenly, parents may feel lost to some extent, and overwhelmed by the tremendous responsibility they have for the new life they created. Developmental psychology is the manual they're seeking. It's a guide, it's not a rulebook.

For example: Parents might punish a small child for telling far out whoppers...not knowing that a child that age has a hard time differentiating between reality and fantasy. So you punish the child for lying...but they're not lying. It's just that their brains aren't developed enough yet, to know what is real, and what is not.


I have a friend who used to think she was reincarnated, because she had memories from living in Victorian times. She grew up from little, thinking this. One day, she's sitting down with her toddler to watch 101 Dalmations, and it suddenly occurred to her that this movie IS her reincarnation memories.


I remember wanting to see Santa Claus SOOOO bad! My bed was by a window, facing the front yard. I stood up in my bed, staring out the window, so I'd see Santa come to our house. And...I have a memory of that happening. I remember well him gliding in to our front yard, with all the reindeer. That's a MEMORY to me. Not a wishful thinking...but a memory. Now, we all know Santa didn't land in my front yard. But my little brain wasn't developed enough to tell the difference between what was real, and what was not.
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Old 11-10-2020, 02:03 PM
 
12 posts, read 10,596 times
Reputation: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by purehuman View Post
I don't agree with teaching child development and psychology in high schools.
I don't agree with categorizing and stereotyping everything a child does.
Children grow up physically and mentally at different rates.
Taking a child psychology course will not (in my opinion) make someone a better parent.
Maybe a course in contraception would be more advised.
_______


This has nothing to do with sexual education; there has been plenty of that for a long time, now. It has everything to do with our young people universally knowing even the basics of the child's developing mind.

Therefore, they can understand how (with curriculum examples) a seemingly-minute yet consequential flaw in rearing/environment, perhaps something commonly practised/experienced, can have negative lasting effects on the child’s sponge-like brain/psyche.

Yes, such curriculum can sound invasive, especially to parents distrustful of the public education system, but I really believe it’s in our future generations’ best interests.

(For example, teach a little about autistic spectrum disorder; explain how ASD people, including higher functioning autistics, are often deemed willfully ‘difficult’ and socially incongruent, when such behavior is really not a choice. It might even spare some student, somewhere, from getting bullied.)

I often wonder how many instances there are wherein immense long-term suffering by children of dysfunctional rearing might have been prevented had the parent(s) received some crucial parenting instruction by way of mandatory high school curriculum.

“It has been said that if child abuse and neglect were to disappear today, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual would shrink to the size of a pamphlet in two generations, and the prisons would empty. Or, as Bernie Siegel, MD, puts it, quite simply, after half a century of practising medicine, ‘I have become convinced that our number-one public health problem is our childhood’.”
Childhood Disrupted, pg.228.

Last edited by FrankSterleJr; 11-10-2020 at 02:26 PM..
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