Parenting classes in high school

Charlie - posted on 08/14/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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Admit it , lots of us have thought " wow i wish people had to pass a test to become parent "



Most of us agree that sex education is vital but it barely touches on parenting , do you think schools should have parenting education in schools .



Many pregnancies are "accidents " and can often take people by surprise throwing people into a whole new world , most of parenting is intuitive and based on what we have grown up with but a lot of the time what people have grown up with can also be what is now outdated practices while most of the time using those methods can have little affect on the child many have now been proven to be detrimental even dangerous .



So should teens be taught what is now recommended by world health authorities and parenting experts derived through solid studies and research and provided access to people, groups and sources of information for updated advice and support in order for them to one day become informed parents however they choose to do so , taking into account all sides of parenting and possibilities of individual children .



What would the pro's and con's be ?

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Joanna - posted on 08/15/2010

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In our home ec classes in high school we had to do the Baby Think It Over, where you take the baby home and care for it for a weekend and it grades you on how well you did (mine actually broke and wouldn't stop crying so we had to wrap it in towels and put it in the closet so we could sleep, haha). That was during a 1-2 week long baby/parent portion of the course, and that was all we got.

There was, however, a child-care/early-learning class that was an elective, where you learn all about child development, and different aspects of parenting, and then the class ran a preschool program as well as went out and helped other daycares/preschools. It was amazing, I loved it! I also talked to the classes every semester during a portion on becoming pregnant and options, because I had given my baby up for adoption so that's what I talked about, my experience during pregnancy and the adoption process, etc. They also had a couple teen parents come in.

So those classes were really great, but I don't think everyone should HAVE to do them. We HAD to do the home ec, which is fine, you learned small basics like cooking eggs and sewing on buttons. But the electives should stay that way, because not everyone will even become parents, or necessarily enjoy children.

Sorry that's probably long and rambling, but I'm going on no sleep, haha.

Lyndsay - posted on 08/15/2010

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Hmm... well, the schools around here do have a parenting class. It's a grade 11 course and one of the projects is to take home one of those crying plastic babies for a weekend to see how you fare.

Tara - posted on 08/15/2010

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I agree that these types of programs are needed and should be available, but I really think that if things like emotional development through the ages birth to teenage hood were taught in schools than we would see more equipped parents in the future. How to deal with ones own emotions is so important when raising children. This should be part of a self awareness class. These are the things I would like to see taught in schools, from an early age. My 14 year old son knows more about infant development than some parents I know.
It isn't simplifying things to teach proper baby care either, it truly amazes me when I see parents who don't know you can't put sunscreen on a new baby, or who still think that putting infant cereal in a bottle is a good idea. I don't think doctors cover much on their well baby visits, or the parents just aren't listening for that 10 minutes. Again, if it were taught in school, we would at least have more prepared parents whether they are teens or not.

[deleted account]

They've been proposing a GCSE in parenting in the UK. It's stupid!
A qualification in how to be a parent? What sort of job is that going to get you in the future???

Being a parent requires multiple skills. Most of us learn through education as it stands and life experiences. There is no right or wrong answers.

However I do think that parenting classes (baby basics, cleaning, nursing, basic first-aid etc) could be offered to pregnant teens under 18 (the ones who aren't paying attention in sex ed classes), making them mandatory for any girl who gets pregnant under 16. If nothing else it would give the girls a good support network of other mother in a similar situation. If it's included in the school timetable then it would remove the optional element.

But I don't think we should be forcing every child, many with no interest in becoming a parent, into these sort of classes.

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Ashley - posted on 08/16/2010

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I took parenting in high school. Like Tara I'm from Ontario and it taught me a lot about how to discipline and different ways to do things in a family life that were not shown to me in my family. It also made me very afraid to be a teen mom there for I didnt become a mom until I was ready at the age of 24. Though lots of my friends were teen moms I think this course is a very good idea and helps open your eyes to different ways of raising a child and gives you time to think about what would be best for you and your family.

Stifler's - posted on 08/15/2010

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I think it's a great idea Loureen!

Pros... we'd know what to do with our kids when we brang them home. We'd get a bit of an understanding of the responsibilities involved. We'd know when to start this and vaccinate that instead of stumbling blindly through the first 6 months of parenthood etc.

Cons... the media would kick up a stink about it encouraging teen pregnancy.

Charlie - posted on 08/15/2010

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Thats awesome for the schools who do this , i always wanted to do the baby doll thing in high school !

[deleted account]

The high school in my district, as well as the high school where I teach offer parenting classes as part of the Family Consumer Science curriculum. Child Development seems to be a popular course and I do know that there are osme pregnant students on campus. I also know that the others enrolled plan to go into Early Childhood as a career. It's not a bad thing actually-I mean, being taught how to care and provide for a baby is beneficial, IMO. The Young Parenting program in my school district allows for the moms to be with their chldren and complete high school credits. Why is that bad? Dads can enroll as well. More power to them for remaniing in school.

Sharon - posted on 08/15/2010

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They already do this in some forms in schools - the egg thing, the crying baby doll.

I think a basic parenting class in highschool is fine. A "see this is what you get" kind of class and a "this is how you do it right". being exposed to new parenting ideas at a formative age would be beneficial for everyone especially those who only have a negative parenting example at home.

[deleted account]

I like Jodi's idea of having the classes free of charge to expectant moms and dads. However, I do think it would be good to teach the children in highschool how to research current WHO recommendations and what other agencies they should look to for support and information on different aspects of parenting.

I did not realize this until I came to COM, but I am in a minority having taken parenting classes. I know every new mom & dad take child/infant CPR, but very few take classes beyond that. I took a diet and nutrition class, a discipline class, a child psychology class, and a baby basics class--and I STILL felt unprepared! I cannot imagine going into motherhood blind, with no education about it. I know there are book, and I read a lot of those too, but there is something more to having an actual teacher to ask questions, and meeting other parents in your same situation. The classes were not cheap, so I think the parents who are most likely to need them the most are the least likely to have the finances to pay for them.

[deleted account]

I'm not against it. But then the optional public class for expecting parents (that Jodi speaks of) is a good idea too. She has a good point about recommendations changing, but somethings like changing a diaper, talking/singing to your baby, properly feeding your baby (breast or bottle) will always be the same. Believe it or not, there are people out there that don't possess even the slightest skills when it comes to caring for a child. And I believe that if these skills are taught, the school system would fare better when these babies enter school. If teens (whether or not they currently have a child) are taught basic childhood development, nutrition, and care...wouldn't fewer children enter kindergarten with speech problems, and not knowing how to properly hold a book, etc? Maybe I'm oversimplifying the problem, but it's a thought.

Tara - posted on 08/15/2010

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Parenting as a course of study is offered in Ontario Highschools as an elective class. It is not mandatory. It touches on all subjects of parenting from pregnancy and nutrition to temper tantrums and age appropriate sex play right up and on into parenting teens. (weird for teenagers to be learning about parenting teens!)
It's a good course, in fact I helped my sons friend with an assignment this past year, he had to interview me about how my own upbringing differs from or is similar to how I choose to raise my own children.
I think it's a great idea and should be offered everywhere!!
They also cover things like family budgeting, meal planning, roles of both parents, early brain development, and discipline. One of the first projects they had to complete was a history of parenting in both sides of their family (if possible). this included how his own parents felt about how they were raised etc. it was really interesting and opened up the dialogue between parents and teens.
I think it should be available in all schools.

Jessica - posted on 08/15/2010

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I kind of agree with Jodi. That there should be free of charge, public education classes that parents (or at least teen parents) are encouraged to attend but not necessarily in high school.



Though, if they had those classes in high school I wouldn't necessarily be upset about it either. I took a child care class in high school- not parenting per se, but it was offered and I took it. We learned about child development and had to take home the fake baby that cries and you have to feed it and change its diaper. I thought it was neat!

Shelley - posted on 08/15/2010

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No I don't think that school is the time for that i would like to see antinatal classes involve more parenting skills though.
Also sex ed could include a little about the responcibilities and cost break up of having a baby

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 08/14/2010

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I think it should be offered as a choice……I don’t think this will make teens feel its ok to have a baby, if anything this will let them know the reality of rising a child and not have all glamed up.

Jodi - posted on 08/14/2010

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No. I think there should be publicly available education for expectant parents at no charge, and they should be strongly encouraged by their doctors/midwives to attend, but I don't believe it should be part of a school curriculum. After all, most pregnancies don't occur to teens (although too many do, LOL), and by the time many of these kids decide to start families, things have changed again!!. In the almost 13 years since I had my son, many recommended practices have changed.

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