Monday, February 2, 2009

Parenting

Being a Child & Adolescent Development major, one of the classes I'm taking this semester is "Theories and Principles of Parenting".  Right now we're still going through all of the framework theories on Child Development- something that I've reviewed in every single HDF (Human/Family Development) class I've ever been in.  (Kind of like how in every single science class, you always review the scientific method in the beginning).  

I realized today how beneficial it's going to be for me someday to have taken these classes.  I have learned so much about children and how their minds work.  I feel like I am going to be a better parent one day.  All parents should be required to take these classes!  I don't really believe that... but it would certainly be helpful.  We talk a lot about current events- newspaper articles or things we've seen on the news about parents and horrible things that they've done to their children.  You may have seen on the news recently about the toddler's body that was found in a bin in Galveston Bay down in Texas.  They were calling her "Baby Grace"... they identified the child and her parents (well, mother and mother's boyfriend) and when they were questioned about why they beat their child to death, their answer was that "she didn't say 'please', 'thank you' and 'yes sir' at dinner the night before".  They were trying to teach her respect and manners.  

First of all, the child was 2 years old.  Obviously, I don't need to explain why this is NOT an appropriate way to teach your child manners.  I'm not sure about the mental state of either of the individuals involved, except that they were not abusing any substances at the time of the girl's death.  

I'm trying to keep my opinion out of this post, but I can't help it... it absolutely enrages me that these two people murdered this little girl for this reason.  If they had no real reason for doing it, were just crazy, or didn't like her or just wanted to kill her, or had no reason at all except that they enjoyed hurting her, I think it would be easier for me to read about it... because when people kill for those reasons, it's easier to just shake our heads and say "okay, people who murder their children aren't normal and who knows what was running through their heads".  But, when someone murders their child for something that every single day, parents deal with in an appropriate way (saying "what do you say?" when the child asks for something, giving them rewards or positive reinforcement for showing the appropriate behavior (good manners), etc.) it's just mind-blowing and heart breaking.  I don't know why it's so different for me.  

But - going back to my classes- it would be great if all parents or parents-to-be had access to the kind of information that I have been exposed to.  I understand that for hundreds of years, parents have been parenting and "we all made it", but it can't be denied that this stuff isn't useful and that it could change some parents' beliefs about how to handle their children in different situations.

4 comments:

Jennifer Lehmann said...

I totally agree. My roommate last year knew Riley "Baby Grace" and her parents (not stepdad) and NEVER expected that out of the mom. Things like that are so horrible and I'll never understand them.

Lady V said...

I totally understand this. Here we need a licence to watch the TV...but anyone can bring a child into the world and abuse it. It horrifies me.
http://daisychainsummer.blogspot.com

and her heart it is in ireland said...

Sounds like a great class, I loved my child development classes in high school and working with preschool kids. Its funny that I've worked with kids from 3-18 in someway and having those development/psychology classes really helps to put things into perspective.

lindsey said...

i totally think that soon to be parents should take a parenting class...i think in sweden or maybe it's one of the other scandinavian countries requires it. though it would make megan's job obsolete, so maybe it's not such a great idea...