LETTER: Let’s get child-rearing into school curriculum

Letter writer thinks this would help with long-term health security

Re: “Students today don’t know how hard it used to be,” Progress Letters, Feb.28.

When I asked a BC Teachers Federation official over the phone two years back whether there was any child-rearing curriculum taught in any of B.C.’s school districts, he immediately replied there is not. When I asked the reason for its absence and whether it may be due to the subject matter being too controversial, he replied with a simple “Yes.”

This strongly suggests there are philosophical, thus political, obstacles to teaching students such crucial life skills as nourishingly parenting one’s children. (Is it just me, or does it not seem difficult to imagine that teaching parenting curriculum should be considered any more controversial than, say, teaching students Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity [SOGI] curriculum, beginning in Kindergarten, as is currently taught in B.C. schools?)

Put plainly, people generally do not want some stranger – and especially a government-arm entity, which includes school teachers – directly or indirectly telling them how to raise their children, regardless of the very real future mental and (by extension) physical health benefits to their own descendants.

Albeit, a knowledgeable person offered me her observation on perhaps why there are no mandatory child-rearing courses in high school: People with a dysfunctional family background do not particularly desire scholastically analyzing its intricacies; i.e. they simply don’t want to go there – even if it’s not being openly discussed.

I feel that’s definitely not sufficient reason to deny future generations their health security.

Along with their physical well-being, children’s sound psychological health should be the most significant aspect of a parent’s (or caregiver’s) responsibility. Perhaps foremost to consider is that during their first three to six years of life (depending on which expert one asks) children have particularly malleable minds, thus they’re exceptionally vulnerable to whatever rearing environment in which they happened to have been placed by fate.

I frequently wonder how many instances there are wherein immense long-term suffering by children of dysfunctional rearing might have been prevented had the parent(s) received some crucial parenting instruction by way of mandatory high school curriculum.

Additionally, if we’re to proactively avoid the eventual dreadingly invasive conventional reactive means of intervention due to dysfunctional familial situations as a result of flawed rearing – that of the government forced removal of children from the latter environment – we then should be willing to try an unconventional means of proactively preventing future dysfunctional family situations: Teach our young people the science of how a child’s mind develops and therefor its susceptibilities to flawed parenting.

Frank Sterle Jr.

White Rock

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