Should Parenting Classes be mandatory in high school?

Alexis - posted on 04/08/2015 ( 15 moms have responded )

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I am writing a paper for my senior class, and I have experience with taking care of children. I have raised my two younger siblings for the past three years. I have dealt with a colic child to anything you can think of. Being only in my senior year of high school and not being able to actually be a "teenager," my opinion on academic achievement has changed. I feel like with my experience and opportunity that I feel like parenting classes should be mandatory. I see all these young girls becoming pregnant and it makes me so sad. Not only because they now have to grow up and become mothers, but they don't have the experience of being mothers or dealing with children. Any thoughts? Any articles or bits of information that could help me please? I could go on for hours about this topic, but it can't be biased.

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Raye - posted on 04/10/2015

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I was in 7th grade when the Health class taught anything about sex. Then it was pretty basic and not all that helpful. I think it was my Junior year of High School that Biology class showed a video of live birth. I had to be excused and sit in the hall with my head between my knees so I wouldn't pass out (I actually fainted at the hospital when my sister was in labor). Could be part of why I never had kids of my own. But generally speaking there wasn't much else taught on sex. We dissected frogs and learned the reproductive system, but that's not exactly "sex-ed".

I saw things on TV way back when about schools that would have the egg-baby that students had to care for (and if you can't even care for a hollow egg, how can you care for a baby?). But we didn't do that in my school or any other in the city that I know about. Now, I've seen there are simulator dolls, but those are only used with teen parents-to-be, because of the expense.

I agree that better sex education classes and, as Trisha said, financial planning would be better options to try to get in the mandatory curriculum. Parenting classes should be an elective, but not mandatory for the general student body.

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Jodi - posted on 04/09/2015

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Mandatory ongoing sex education should be implemented - it would be far less costly to society as a whole if you think about it.

Where I live here in Australia, in our public schools, sex ed is quite a key part of our PE and Health program, and is an ongoing discussion (not just one class and its done). We don't have the same teen pregnancy rates that seem to occur in the US.

If a teenager has a baby, then yes, parenting classes should be mandatory, but prevention is a far better program to make compulsory, and research after research demonstrates that education is the key here.

Personally, when I read about some of the sex ed programs in the us (or the lack thereof because they simply teach abstinence and nothing else), it amazes me and makes me realise how sex education in some areas there is contributing to the problem.

Trisha - posted on 04/09/2015

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I would have to agree with a few of the other women. Parenting classes should be mandatory for all first time parents. Human reproduction SHOULD be mandatory.

I do however think that Financial Basics should be mandatory. I have never heard of a school teaching this, but I think it would be so beneficial for kids to know what a SIN card is, how taxes work, how credit works, the importance of protecting your identity, how to budget/save - but that is an entirely different topic.

Ledia - posted on 04/09/2015

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I like your idea, but I think making them mandatory for ALL students is too extreme. First, not all students will go on to become parents. I have several friends who are perfectly happy in their 30's and 40's who never became parents. A parenting class would have been a waste of time for them--time that, as Sarah pointed out, could have been better spent on AP courses for college credit. I do think mandatory sex education classes should be redesigned so that the consequences of sex are introduced earlier. I think 7th grade is the most appropriate time to discuss birth control and sexual desire, and while some kids are already engaging in sex at that age, I think 7th grade is an age where most parents would not object to their kids being taught this information. There are still a lot of parents who would object to that kind of information in 5th and 6th grade, and might opt out of the classes for their children, but by 7th grade, they'd be okay with it. I think it should be retaught EVERY YEAR until graduation. It might get repetitive, but information changes, students are more receptive at different ages, students who opted out of earlier classes would get the same information in later classes, and students would be less likely to forget what they learned.

As for parenting classes that teach specifically about parenting--I don't think they can or should be used as a deterrent to becoming parents. Being a parent is a good thing if you do it at the right time, and I fear that only pointing out the difficulties of parents would make already overwhelmed teen mothers to be even more overwhelmed. It may also discourage students from EVER wanting to be parents.....although that might be a good thing for some.... Anyway, I think a parenting class should be about helping kids learn the technicalities of parenting and child psychology, and not so much about making them afraid of parenting.

Alexis - posted on 04/08/2015

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yes, many parents don't want to open their eyes and actually see they their child is growing up and some don't feel comfortable with discussing it with their children. I was wondering what points I could take on this paper. I am talking about why these classes aren't being implemented in high school and how they could be implemented any insight on that?

Alexis - posted on 04/08/2015

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Also, not all schools actually teach about the things you listed. I was never taught about them. I was only informed when I acutally went to the doctor and was talked about it there.

Alexis - posted on 04/08/2015

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Okay I understand your point and I also agree! But also, don't you think that with all the help through schools and things teenagers aren't really looking at it as a "bad" thing? I mean they are getting all they help they need, some aren't really even taking care of the child that they have made. And on top of that they aren't being actually held accountable with their choices I feel maybe I am wrong,

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