Winning the Future for Children

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President Obama's State of the Union address focused on our country's future. Despite our challenges, our country must come together to "out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world."

 

The President rightly acknowledged that this will take excellence in the classroom. We need to begin education earlier, advance education in math and science, reward and retain high performing teachers, prepare students for education beyond high school, and make post-secondary education affordable and meaningful to students, so that they are primed for jobs in a technologically driven global economy.

 

Obama then went on to emphasize the importance of parents, in addition to teachers and schools, in a child's education. The education of a child begins "not in our classrooms, but in our homes and communities." The President asked "whether all of us - as citizens, and as parents - are willing to do what's necessary to give every child a chance to succeed."

 

The question is a hard one that involves not only making changes to our education system, but also buttressing families, particularly fragile families, so that they can provide the support necessary for their children's success. 

 

As the President mentioned, "it's family first that instills the love of learning in a child." Our country must look to comprehensive policy approaches that not only promote and improve education, but also encompass a wide range of initiatives from job creation to health care, to support American families.

 

And the government cannot and should not do it alone. Our individual knowledge and advocacy around these issues is critical to building communities that can work in tandem with policy changes to support children's development.

 

As the President begins suggesting policy plans to implement his vision, investigate some of our relevant volumes, which will hopefully help you clarify your thoughts and advocacy efforts related to improving child wellbeing: Fragile Families, Transition to Adulthood, Preventing Child Maltreatment, America's High Schools, and Excellence in the Classroom, among others. <http://www.futureofchildren.org/futureofchildren/publications/journals/>;

 

Our upcoming volume on Immigrant Children (March 2011) will provide additional clarity regarding both legal and illegal immigrant children and their futures in the United States.

10 Comments

The quality of any community has much to do with the quality of the parenting happening in each of its homes.

Generally speaking, children raised by parents who engage in best parenting behaviors and practices become responsible, caring, competent citizens.

Similarly, children raised by abusive and/or neglectful parents or parents who just have poor parenting skills become emotionally crippled and sometimes dangerous citizens.

Parenting behaviors and practices, both good and bad, are frequently passed from one generation to the next.

It is very difficult to identify and "repair" parents who engage in poor or criminal parenting. There are numerous psychological, practical, and logistical obstacles that hinder and often prevent the "repair" of broken parents.

Perhaps we should, instead, act proactively and teach young people, kids, how to engage in parenting behaviors and practices generally recognized as supporting the healthy physical, emotional, and intellectual development of children, and reject parenting behaviors and practices generally recognized as disrupting the healthy development of children. This, in an effort to prepare them for their future role as parents.

An extraterrestrial researcher visited Earth and then returned to her home planet and made this report:
Humans are quite advanced technologically, but lag in terms of civility. Significant numbers of humans engage in self-destructive behavior, and an unusually high percentage of the population has been judged too dangerous to live freely. This lag may have something to do with parenting. Hard as it may be to believe, humans do not, as a matter of course, teach best parenting behaviors and practices to their young! Humans are the first, higher-order sentient beings we’ve studied who don’t teach parenting skills to youth. Consequently, the offspring who are raised by less than competent or hurtful parents often become burdens on their society and repeat the poor parenting behaviors they were exposed to. Every other similar civilization we’ve studied throughout the galaxy has been teaching best parenting behaviors and practices to its young for centuries! Indeed, we have assumed the teaching of best parenting behaviors to youth to be a hallmark of advanced civilizations! Because this phenomenon is unprecedented in our research, it is recommended Earth culture be examined for anomalies that may account for this abnormality.

quote: "Obama then went on to emphasize the importance of parents, in addition to teachers and schools, in a child's education. The education of a child begins "not in our classrooms, but in our homes and communities." The President asked "whether all of us - as citizens, and as parents - are willing to do what's necessary to give every child a chance to succeed."

When I was young they taught me that I could become everything. I dreamed of becoming a pilot. Now I am working as a office worker.

Raising children right now for most of us involves a lot of self-sacrifice and patience.I appreciate your article.

great post, there are an estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S. . One of the issues is the availability of skilled and unskilled workers who are willing to work for less than the fair wage that the American worker would demand. What we hear about most are the undocumented day laborers, domestic help, and agriculture laborers.

As the President begins suggesting policy plans to implement his vision,
:D

Children are the most important things to us. Of course it also depends on us; we should forget anything in our dream to raise them.

"out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world." The problem with this is the hourly rate... When an out sourced worker in another country costs less than a couple of dollars per hour, how can we can compete with that?

Yes, he put effort in various areas of life. The election campaign has already started and we will see if his effort has been value for the usa citizens.
People will decide.

Maybe we have to, rather, behave proactively and educate younger people, children, how to take part in raising a child actions and procedures usually acknowledged as helping the healthy physical, emotive, and mental growth and development of kids, and refuse raising a child behaviours and procedures typically acknowledged as interfering with the wholesome growth and development of youngsters. This, in an attempt to prepare them for his or her long run role as a parent.

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