Should parenting skills be taught in school?

United States
August 18, 2011 7:03am CST
I am beginning to think that having high school students study parenting is as important as studying a foreign language and other subjects. It seems to me that parenting skills are really lacking in our society of late. When I go out to eat or to shop or anywhere in public I am constantly seeing behaviors from children that indicate a lack of parenting. What are your thoughts?
11 responses
• United States
23 Aug 11
Some public schools do have classes on child raising. Mine had a Home Ec class on the matter. There, of course, wasn't a male in sight. However, you're making the assumption that public schools would do any better a job at teaching parenting than the other subjects that are so widely available and usually so poorly taught. What did I learn in high school? Typing. They still had the old-fashioned typewriters (no, I'm not that old, but I did go to a low-ranking school) that used correction tape. I hated getting the powder from the correction tape on my fingers, so I quickly learned to type. I also learned about sexism, classism, and racism. I learned how people are railroaded into Special Ed (I was friends with some people who were in there; they wouldn't have been if they came from families with more money). People learn how to be parents from how they were raised and from what they have seen around them. It isn't that there need to be special classes on parenting. It's mostly that this nation needs to ensure that everyone has access to good quality schools; it's that things need to change so that people aren't drowning in debt (forcing them to work longer and longer hours away from their children, and causing stress that shortens their fuses and/or guilt that causes them to let their children get away with murder), and there needs to be more community support for families (we often live in isolation from our "communities").
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Aug 11
Wilson you touched on something that I feel very strongly about. We are definitely doing soemthing wrong when both parents have to work away from their children for long, long hours. I understand that need for parents to work, but as you so aptly pointed out, it is becoming longer and longer hours or multiple jobs just to make ends meet. yes, the children are suffering from lack of parental contact and then you are so correct about the guilt!! I have heard many parents say things such as, "I have to make my time with them special, I don't get much time with them and I dont' want to spend it arguing with them." Very good points you raise!
@mindym (979)
• United States
18 Aug 11
Great topic! I work in a school and I believe that there are many children who are raised with parents who are clueless because they do not know and/or do not use the free resources that are available to them. Nowadays, parents are usually single parents or have two working parents, so they think that they do not have to discipline their child(ren), so they leave everything up to the schools. I have seen kids running around in a restaurant to talk back to their parent(s). The children running around in a public place is disrespect for others on the parents part. The children disrespecting others is disrespect on their part, but respect could be learned from proper parenting. I think that parenting should be taught in schools since it seems like if you don't get pregnant in high school, you aren't cool, which is REALLY sad. But every child is different and the parenting class may teach the basics of parenting, but not necessarily the difficulties of parenting.
• United States
19 Aug 11
The last few times that my husband and I have eaten in a restaurant we have ultimately had to ask for to-go boxes and leave. The one time we were in a booth and the children in the booth behind us were standing in their booth the entire meal.....jumping, hanging over to our booth and ultimately spilling soda down my back. The parents never attempted to get them to sit down and or anything!! My elderly mother was almost knocked down (did knock the food she was carrying in her hand to the floor) by a child running in a restaurant. Again, parent never said a thing to the child.
@mindym (979)
• United States
19 Aug 11
We definitely know who runs those households...and it's not the parents. People are so sue-happy now a days and if their child(ren) got hurt in a restaurant for doing something that their parents could have controlled, the parents would most likely blame the restaurant, sue them, and win. ARG! So frustrating!
@cupkitties (6909)
• United States
19 Aug 11
When I was in high school, taking child development classes was a requirement. The problem was, kids were the last thing on my mind at that age so I didn't put much care into the class. The only thing I remember is going to the elementary school to read to the little ones and making them laugh, learning to decipher nursery school kids hand writing and arguing with supposedly thought that I had stolen her boyfriend. If they do the classes, the need to offer it for the ones who already are pregnant. Other wise it really does not good.
• United States
19 Aug 11
*should be "arguing with some girl"..
@Mayuko (1272)
• United States
29 Jun 12
I don't think parenting being taught in school would really help. Even if it was taught in the last year, when the student is 17 or 18 (or 19), they probably wouldn't have kids for another 10 years. By then, they probably wouldn't remember half of what they were taught. I guess it could help a little, but it probably wouldn't be very beneficial. If anything, I think parenting skills should be taught after the woman becomes pregnant. Like when she visits her gynecologist, she and her spouse/partner (if applicable), would have to attend several free parenting courses.
@MsTickle (24991)
• Australia
26 Aug 11
Parenting skills should be learned from parents but since time began, there have been not so great parents. Both my parents had violent upbringings and should never have had kids. I should not have had kids. It seems to me that things are getting worse with little discipline, no limits and no values like courtesy and respect being taught.
@BlueGoblin (1833)
• United States
19 Aug 11
There is a class in high school you can take that teaches you how to raise a baby. I'm not sure what the class is called or what they teach. My niece had the class and was given a fake baby. lol I thought it was kind of stupid because it didn't teach her anything.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
18 Aug 11
I honestly don't think that parenting skills are something that can be taught in school. I think that the skills that we have as parents come from a combination of the experiences that we have from our parents as we were growing up and also from the experiences that we have after we have children. Learning to be a good parent is not something that we learn overnight, but I also really don't think that it is something that can be taught at school.
@pbbbsra (1214)
• Philippines
18 Aug 11
I think that being a parent is so much more than books. But teaching it at school won't do any harm. It will definitely not teach everything, but it can serve as a preparation on what there is and what will be like when they become parents. It will also give the young generation as chance to look at things in the eyes of their parents, this way they can also understand what it is like to be parents even at their young age.
• United States
18 Aug 11
I believe parenting should be taught in school but for those parents who have concerns about that, perhaps have it offered as an elective if nothing else. There are many young parents who could benefit from the education while raising their children as well as those who would carry the education on to when they have children later.
• United States
18 Aug 11
The parenting classes I had in my high school weren't mandatory, so the only kids who took them were just getting credits. Those were mostly the kids who weren't really smart enough to take a different elective. That class was always full of knuckleheads, so I never took it. Mandatory parenting classes might help, but I kind of wouldn't trust public schools to give people parenting advice. Parenting textbooks might only show one way of parenting, and they might be outdated Kids might not learn that much from them. If the classes were going to be good enough for people to take them seriously, they could have a benefit.
@maximax8 (27334)
• United Kingdom
18 Aug 11
When I was a teenager the boys did wood work for one term and the girls like me did baby care. There wasn't enough information given about parenting. I know some girls will get pregnant and have a baby between ages 16 and 21 years old so this info would really help them. In my home country 16 year old take exams in English, Maths, History, Geography and so on. I believe that there could be a new subject taken called Parenting. It could be for boys that want to do it and all girls aged 14 to 16 years old. Even better it could be taken all the way through from age 11 to 16 years old. This would help girls that get pregnant at 14 or 15 years old. I know many disabled children. My disabled son is in a wheelchair. Some of his friends have autism and they can appear to act up. It is nothing to do with the parenting skills. There is an age range 2 to 3 and a half which is known as the terrible 2s. Parents should speak in a polite way to their children. They should be loving and caring towards their children.