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Lawmaker wants parenting classes before able to raise kids


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http://www.ktbs.com/story/24256597/shre ... al-classes

Louisiana state representative wants parents to take a class before being allowed to raise them. Louisiana already has "law that already requires parenting classes for those who receive a type of public assistance, called FITAP. It provides cash to families with children when they don't have enough to provide basic needs.They must complete 18 hours of instruction in order to receive their money."

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http://www.ktbs.com/story/24256597/shreveport-shoppers-sound-off-on-state-lawmakers-requiring-parental-classes

Louisiana state representative wants parents to take a class before being allowed to raise them. Louisiana already has "law that already requires parenting classes for those who receive a type of public assistance, called FITAP. It provides cash to families with children when they don't have enough to provide basic needs.They must complete 18 hours of instruction in order to receive their money."

I'd like people to take parenting classes before they conceive. There are already mandated parenting classes in most states for parents who are divorcing. Maybe if a couple realized what was involved before they became parents there would be more thoughtful family planning.

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I think need to take a test.

You think people need to take a test before they are allowed to have children?

I really feel like taking away children unless parents, who have in no way been shown to be a danger to their children, is wrong.

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And who decides what constitutes "good parenting", exactly?

I think it's a great idea, and I think we can used research-based information to determine what "good" parenting is. It would include teaching prospective parents how important attachment is, talking to baby, non-violent ways to teach/discipline, consistency, what an adequate diet is, the benefits of routine, sleep needs (believe it or not, I see young parents who do not seem to be aware that their kids need regular sleep), assertive (vs. authoritarian) parenting, and the need for play for starters. Since what happens in a child's early life has such a profound impact on brain development and lifelong well-being, there is little we can do that would be more important.

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In theory, great.

In Lousiana, no.

Given our history in this country *everywhere* of racist, classist, discriminatory practices--no way in hell. We've done shit like this before. It's gross.

Notice WHO she was targeting these classes towards? Parents 20 years of age and younger. The perfect target demographic for the people who produce healthy infants for good older white Christian people to adopt. Surprise surprise!

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And what would happen if a person gave birth but had not taken the class? Is the baby put in foster care until the parent takes the class? Do you have to pass the class in some way? How is Louisiana going to ensure that different cultural norms will be taken into account? How is Louisiana going to enable that every potential parent takes and has access to these classes (Hint: I bet poor people will have less reliable access to these classes)?

No thanks. I like my government big, but not that big.

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And what would happen if a person gave birth but had not taken the class? Is the baby put in foster care until the parent takes the class? Do you have to pass the class in some way? How is Louisiana going to ensure that different cultural norms will be taken into account? How is Louisiana going to enable that every potential parent takes and has access to these classes (Hint: I bet poor people will have less reliable access to these classes)?

No thanks. I like my government big, but not that big.

News article says that the proposed legislation is targeted at parents 20 and younger. So they're not even targeting every potential parent. My guess is that they would contract out these services to religious groups/for-profit entities. :P

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News article says that the proposed legislation is targeted at parents 20 and younger. So they're not even targeting every potential parent. My guess is that they would contract out these services to religious groups/for-profit entities. :P

Even more obnoxious. So if you're young or poor you have to have a class, but if you're older or have money you must be a-okay just by existing. :roll: I wonder if they'll find another way to catch more " undesirable" groups in their net?

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I think it's a great idea, and I think we can used research-based information to determine what "good" parenting is. It would include teaching prospective parents how important attachment is, talking to baby, non-violent ways to teach/discipline, consistency, what an adequate diet is, the benefits of routine, sleep needs (believe it or not, I see young parents who do not seem to be aware that their kids need regular sleep), assertive (vs. authoritarian) parenting, and the need for play for starters. Since what happens in a child's early life has such a profound impact on brain development and lifelong well-being, there is little we can do that would be more important.

Yeah, that's awesome if they use research and parenting methods you happen to agree with. But people can find a study to support anything they want, and what's the "best" way to parent changes every few years, so what happens if the newest, bestest method turns out to be abusive or wrong? Voluntary classes, great. Mandatory? Um, no.

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Yeah, that's awesome if they use research and parenting methods you happen to agree with. But people can find a study to support anything they want, and what's the "best" way to parent changes every few years, so what happens if the newest, bestest method turns out to be abusive or wrong? Voluntary classes, great. Mandatory? Um, no.

In general, my hackles raise when I hear, as a solution to any problem, that the schools should address it. (That's because, as an educator, I have heard SO MANY suggestions for what schools should be teaching over the years. My favorite was a parent who was dropping off a child with a bag of food from McDonalds suggesting that the schools should teach kids about good eating habits because her kids only wanted to eat French fries.) That said, I do think what used to be called "Family Life" should be brought back. There, students would learn the basics of child care along with self care, nutrition, balancing a budget, maybe paying the bills. As for WHAT could be taught, at this time, all teachers and probably many people in helping professions must take classes in child development and child behavior management. Nothing that is taught is abusive. It consists basically of understanding that a baby/child has an undeveloped brain and needs consistent, PATIENT models of how to regulate emotions and behaviors. Suggestions are given for how to regulate our own behavior to be better models. Nothing abusive, and if, in the long run, it turns out to be wrong, I don't see how any harm is done. People who want to be foster parents are also required (at least they are where I live) to take these kinds of classes. It is shocking to me to see how generally inept parents have become over the years, and the trend is ever downward. This is true of high-income parents, and it is true of parents of every age, although, if I had to generalize, I would say that older parents seem to be more settled and patient. That does not make them any better at, well, modulating their outrageous expectations of young children. We have a serious problem in this country of very stressed, disorganized children showing up in school. Over the years, I have said, "We have to get to them earlier." So, first I though that meant elementary school. Then, I thought it meant preschool. Now, I think it means before conception. We have to get to the stressed, disorganized parents before they become pregnant. Anything that is done to break this cycle is positive, in my opinion. As for making it voluntary, well, people who are most in need of parenting classes rarely recognize that in themselves.

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I think it's a great idea, and I think we can used research-based information to determine what "good" parenting is. It would include teaching prospective parents how important attachment is, talking to baby, non-violent ways to teach/discipline, consistency, what an adequate diet is, the benefits of routine, sleep needs (believe it or not, I see young parents who do not seem to be aware that their kids need regular sleep), assertive (vs. authoritarian) parenting, and the need for play for starters. Since what happens in a child's early life has such a profound impact on brain development and lifelong well-being, there is little we can do that would be more important.

The problem is that what constitutes "good" parenting is largely dependent on the kind of young adult you want to end up with at the end of it. If you want a well-educated, emotionally adjusted professional, then your methods will suffice. If you want an army of fundiebots, well... the Duggars aren't exactly failing at that. We say that's bad (and we're right), but we're not just challenging their parenting methods. We're questioning their template for what constitutes a good person.

What about a more neutral example? Take tiger moms. They're very very good at raising academically devoted children. They raise very accomplished broods compared to their natural intelligence. Is that "bad"? Some people think so. They say it leads to perfectionism and anxiety. But it also leads to academic excellence. So who's right? Depends on what you expect of the adult.

What about "free-range parenting"? The same. Highly controversial, and has science to back up both sides. Where you fall on it depends on what you expect out of your child.

I understand what you're trying to mean, I think. We can recognize bad parenting when we see it and we don't want kids to be subjected to that. But "good" parenting, even when it's based on science, is too varied and value-dependent for me to ever be comfortable with prescriptive plans from someone else.

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When I gave birth in the City of Toronto 14 years ago, I had the following:

- free public health prenatal classes

- social worker at the hospital popped in for a quick chat with each new mom, asked about things like sources of information and support

- got a call from public health when I came home

- got a visit from public health nurse a few days later, which lasted about an hour. She fixed a latch problem and gave me a bunch of info on programs.

- joined free post-natal class

- had free or almost free YMCA and community center programs for young kids and parents - play time, staff on hand, pamphlets, lectures and classes

As a new mom, this was GREAT! I've seen some other moms also really benefit, regardless of background.

I don't, however, thing that it would be valuable to have people forced into this, and basically being bench-warmers with an attitude. I'd say that some basic screening/monitoring by hospital nurses and social workers should identify if new moms have basic supplies, a source of support, a basic ability to cope and some really basic knowledge (eg. can you feed a baby?). They could be watched a bit more closely and encouraged to attend programs, but not forced by law unless there is clear evidence that baby is at risk and might otherwise need to go to foster care.

I have seen some situations where parenting courses and ongoing supervision is part of a parenting plan that is put in place from the get-go. One of the maternity homes here was like that, but they were dealing with a higher-risk population (homeless teens).

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In general, my hackles raise when I hear, as a solution to any problem, that the schools should address it. (That's because, as an educator, I have heard SO MANY suggestions for what schools should be teaching over the years. My favorite was a parent who was dropping off a child with a bag of food from McDonalds suggesting that the schools should teach kids about good eating habits because her kids only wanted to eat French fries.) That said, I do think what used to be called "Family Life" should be brought back. There, students would learn the basics of child care along with self care, nutrition, balancing a budget, maybe paying the bills. As for WHAT could be taught, at this time, all teachers and probably many people in helping professions must take classes in child development and child behavior management. Nothing that is taught is abusive. It consists basically of understanding that a baby/child has an undeveloped brain and needs consistent, PATIENT models of how to regulate emotions and behaviors. Suggestions are given for how to regulate our own behavior to be better models. Nothing abusive, and if, in the long run, it turns out to be wrong, I don't see how any harm is done. People who want to be foster parents are also required (at least they are where I live) to take these kinds of classes. It is shocking to me to see how generally inept parents have become over the years, and the trend is ever downward. This is true of high-income parents, and it is true of parents of every age, although, if I had to generalize, I would say that older parents seem to be more settled and patient. That does not make them any better at, well, modulating their outrageous expectations of young children. We have a serious problem in this country of very stressed, disorganized children showing up in school. Over the years, I have said, "We have to get to them earlier." So, first I though that meant elementary school. Then, I thought it meant preschool. Now, I think it means before conception. We have to get to the stressed, disorganized parents before they become pregnant. Anything that is done to break this cycle is positive, in my opinion. As for making it voluntary, well, people who are most in need of parenting classes rarely recognize that in themselves.

Considering that Louisiana currently allows corporal punishment in schools I would hardly trust them to tell people how to raise their kids.

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How many people would be able to pass a parenting course in Louisiana? Hell, half the schools couldn't even pass.

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I'd like people to take parenting classes before they conceive. There are already mandated parenting classes in most states for parents who are divorcing. Maybe if a couple realized what was involved before they became parents there would be more thoughtful family planning.

I'm a commie, and we're all totalitarian and shit (allegedly). I still think this is daft.

Sex and babies are a kind of natural imperative. People in all parts of society have the urge to fuck and make kiddies, because it's how our species reproduces. Saying "Oh no! Keep those legs CLOSED, until you've had our extensive parenting course, and one of you is earning at LEAST 30K, and you are sure you'll never split up, and..." is not really workable.

Family planning also happens in weird ways. People are superstitious "Well, the condom broke, but it was the anniversary of my mam's death, so maybe if I get pregnant it's meant to be..." I have a disability that's only going to get worse with age, so if I wanted kids, I should really have them right now. Common sense would say that I shouldn't have kids at all - and I don't want them, so I'm OK. How would you talk a woman who's desperate for kids

out of having them?

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No. Not just no, but hell no. It is unbelievable to me that they want to legally mandate parenting classes so that you start off with the knowledge that if you don't parent just such a way you will not be allowed to raise your own child. ARE.YOU.KIDDING.ME?

I am sorry, but as someone pointed out, LA still allows corporal punishment in schools. The mayor came out in support of Duck Dynasty because apparently he doesn't understand how freedom of speech works. I don't need a bunch of assbackwards right wingers telling me how to raise my kids thanks.

I would love to hear where they plan to store all of these children that they remove from their parents, because from what I hear, the foster system isn't so great itself.

It further irritates me that they require parenting classes for those receiving assistance. I have never needed that kind of help a day in my life, but I have a strong aversion to targeting someone that's down on their luck and making them feel like a shitty parent on top of everything else. If they are parenting so poorly that the gov. needs to intervene, then they should damn well be able to do it, but these involuntary, preemptive intrusions are ridiculous.

Guilty until proven innocent does not work for me. :snooty:

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I've always found it odd that one needs a license to drive a car and a license to hunt...but a baby? Just stick tab A into slot B and congrats--you now have a human being to care for!

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When I gave birth in the City of Toronto 14 years ago, I had the following:

- free public health prenatal classes

- social worker at the hospital popped in for a quick chat with each new mom, asked about things like sources of information and support

- got a call from public health when I came home

- got a visit from public health nurse a few days later, which lasted about an hour. She fixed a latch problem and gave me a bunch of info on programs.

- joined free post-natal class

- had free or almost free YMCA and community center programs for young kids and parents - play time, staff on hand, pamphlets, lectures and classes

As a new mom, this was GREAT! I've seen some other moms also really benefit, regardless of background.

God, yes, all of this! I had my kids with a loving and wonderful husband as adults, fully planned; but have no family or friends around to help (literally none, they all live states away). It was horribly difficult for me, I can't imagine how a teenager with the same lack of a support system, or worse without a husband/father to help, could even make it through.

Nonjudgmental support with basic medical/newborn/childcare knowledge would be a good step to creating good parents. For everyone, not just poor teenagers.

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