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They Say: Parenting Classes Work

parenting_skills-13300We’ve all heard it :”You need a license to drive a car, but not to raise a kid –what’s up with that?” or some variation thereof.

Well, it’s not exactly parenting licensing, but a policy paper recently issued by the Brookings Institution looks at the success of of three similar parenting programs in helping to reduce child maltreatment, and found that all of them were effective in reducing families’ contacts with protective services, complaints from teachers, and child injuries.

In most cases, the programs save money because families who undergo the programs start dealing with their families better, and so their contact with protective services is reduced or eliminated.  In many cases the programs are very inexpensive to implement — less than $13 per child for training of professionals and communication with parents, for one program.

I think that this would be a good idea, not just for parents who’ve already been maltreating their kids but for everybody. Who among us doesn’t feel that we could use a little help in dealing with parenting challenges every now and again? I’ve read books, visit Ask Moxie on a daily basis, and talk with friends who are more experienced at this parenting game to get their perspective. And you know what? We all have our challenges. Even my friends who are actually professionals at dealing with young children find they sometimes struggle with the behavior of their own. One of the points made by this Brookings report is that even short of actual abuse, plain-vanilla bad parenting can have a host of bad results.  A short parenting course could probably help all of us, no?

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