Saturday, January 6, 2007

Parenting Education - An Up And Coming Career?

Ok here is another education field that is being promoted here in CT, by a new group known as CT Parenting Education Network (CT-PEN). A Credential Task Force has been initiated which appears to be an offshoot of KidSafeCT.

These "Networks" are popping up in various states across the country as a result of a national organization's agenda, National Parenting Education Network (NPEN). They are also working in conjunction with the Early Childhood/Universal Preschool people at the National Association for the Education of Young Children, who are also working to create legions of "credentialed" early childhood educators (preschool teachers); so it's a co-ordinated effort nationally.

I am certain that "Parenting Education" will be pushed to eventually add more "teachers and specialists" to the NEA membership rolls.
Get a load of this and then file this under Give Me A Break...

Parenting Education

Parenting Education is a process that involves the expansion of insights, understanding and attitudes and the acquisition of knowledge and skills about the development of both parents and of their children and the relationship between them.
Parents are those who are so defined legally and those who have made a long term commitment to a child to assume responsibility for that child's well being and development. This responsibility includes providing for the child's physiological and emotional needs, forming a loving emotional relationship, guiding the child's understanding of the world and culture, and designing an appropriate environment.

Here is their proposal:
Parenting Education and Support Services Systems Development Proposal

-Whereas parents are the most significant influences in outcomes for their children, including their physical and psychological well-being and their educational success…

-Whereas the State of Connecticut is now making significant commitments to children, as evidenced by the following:
The Action Agenda of the Governor’s Early Childhood Cabinet includes family support as a critical element in school readiness and other early childhood outcomes,
The Department of Social Services is developing a statewide Strategic Plan for Infants and Toddlers,
The Department of Children and Families plans to create and maintain a statewide comprehensive system to promote the healthy development and well-being of children, youth, and families and
The State Legislature requires that all state human service departments to commit 10% of budgets to prevention services…

-Whereas Connecticut families are more diverse in makeup and culture, have less multigenerational support, and are burdened with increased economic, social, and schedule pressures…

-Whereas a crisis exists in Connecticut with regard to violence in families, schools, and communities and the alarming rate of student and school failure…

-Whereas child abuse and neglect continue to be a significant challenge in Connecticut, and the reasons for maltreatment cited by parents include lack of parenting skills (69%), being abused as children (64%), and finding it harder to control children these days (39%)…

-Whereas parenting education and family support programs help families by increasing knowledge of child development and effective discipline and by decreasing parental distress through expanded social support networks…

-Whereas research indicates that evidence-based parenting education programs show promise as a means of preventing child maltreatment…

The development of a statewide system will include an examination of credentials used in other states for parenting educators. It will apply the National Extension Parenting Education Model and Framework as a guideline. Data will be collected from parenting educators and support professionals to identify the current state of preparation of service providers and their nature of their service delivery methods. Data will also be collected from parents regarding their learning priorities and preferences regarding parent educator traits and capacities.

Service providers are encouraged to contact CT-PEN to be included in the planning process. CT-PEN members and collaborating organizations are meeting with funding sources and legislators to seek endorsement of this profession and re-organization of Connecticut’s system of support to families.

Just what we need ... the "experts" to show us how to be parents.. because the prevailing feeling of these folks is that we just are not born with the innate ability to do so... and ...well.. parenting just has to be learned...especially from them.

Somehow I get the feeling that this type of "education" is aimed at what CT-PEN perceives as those dumb low income minority families who just don't have a clue what to do when that fetus pops out of the womb. I just can't see them promoting this in the wealthy suburbs of Greenwich. Talk about classism... this is appalling, and a debasement of the human species natural inborn instinct to care for their young.

The question is this .. will new parents be forced into taking parenting classes? and if they are , then why bother? because the state will eventually mandate those kids into preschool by age 3 anyway... or perhaps a parent will not be able to attend PPT meetings in school, or advocate for their children unless they are "certified parents".

Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, will ever tell me how to be a parent or how to advocate for MY child.