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A society in which parenting is a valued occupation undertaken only by prepared adults will help assure that every child is well nurtured, emotionally healthy, and capable of reaching his or her full potential.

  • Effective, well-prepared parenting builds a foundation for better mental health in future generations.
  • Children who have learned empathy and nurturing skills are less violent and less likely to become abusive parents.
  • Parents’ nurturing skills are crucial to their children’s positive early development. Approximately 30 percent of American children suffer from inadequate emotional care.

    A 1998 University of Minnesota parent-child study showed that children who did not have early sensitive care were at higher risk for difficulties in forming peer relationships, had behavior problems as preschoolers and young teens, had lower educational achievement and were more likely to need special education.

  • Infant and toddler abuse and neglect can cause permanent neurological damage that impairs children’s abilities to concentrate, to reason, to control their impulses, to empathize with others and learn.
  • Understanding the responsibilities of effective parenting encourages teens to postpone this demanding role.

    High rates of teenage pregnancy are clearly linked to increased poverty, child abuse and neglect, violence, and other problems for children and society.

  • Boys and girls are learning less about parenting from their own families. When both parents work, or there is only one parent, much of the raising of younger children may happen outside the home. Absent fathers often do little to serve as a positive fathering role model to young boys.
  • Social and emotional literacy improve learning by creating caring classroom environments

Well-meaning and loving parents can unintentionally do harm to a child if they are not well informed about human development and relationship skills, infant and child care issues like proper nutrition and constructive discipline, or if they are unaware of safety hazards and potentially negative environmental and social influences.

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