The Instigator
GildedBindings
Pro (for)
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The Contender
lefillegal
Con (against)
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All parents should be required to attend parenting classes before having a child.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/1/2015 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,123 times Debate No: 74635
Debate Rounds (3)
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GildedBindings

Pro

The purpose of this argument is to prove that it should be required for aspiring parents to take parenting courses before having children. The Con debater should not, under any circumstances, accept the resolution as true.

1-Every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving more than 6 million children (a report can include multiple children). The United States has one of the worst records among industrialized nations " losing on average between four and seven children every day to child abuse and neglect.

1-https://www.childhelp.org...
lefillegal

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent. Good luck. I do not agree ALL parents should be required to take parenting classes BEFORE having a child. Let me start by stating, all stats you choose to show, will only serve to prove, that while there are bad parents, there are also many good parents. This begs the question, why should good parents be required to learn how to parent, when its only the bad ones who need the instruction? Do good citizens go to jail for the crimes bad citizens commit? Does your cell phone provider charge you for your neighbors unpaid bill? The list goes on and on. All I'm asking for is proof why all parents should be required to take parenting classes, and child abuse statistics won't convince me. Those stats are not about ALL parents, instead they are ALL about the bad parents
Debate Round No. 1
GildedBindings

Pro

Before I continue, I would like to thank my opponent as well.

Now into the main course.

First off, the stats I choose to show are all about bad parents, as my opponent has pointed out. This in itself is proof that bad parents exist, which, in essence, is why I believe that parents should be educated prior to parenthood.

Yes, I understand that good parents exist as well. I never once stated that they didn't. As I hope I implied earlier, the point of the education would be to reduce the amount of bad parents, thus reducing the amount of children that end up neglected and/or abused. Also, it is impossible to tell whether a parent will be good or bad before they begin parenthood. Offering classes for aspiring parents would not only serve to reduce child harms, but also would benefit the parent in question, as they may learn "life hacks" on how to better raise children.

Now addressing the questions- first off, yes, on numerous occasions innocent people have gone to jail because of the crimes of others- but that isn't the point. The truth is, the questions that have been listed don't exactly relate to the main idea. Being framed in a trial and paying for a bill both come after the wrongdoing has been committed, whereas teaching parenting skills would occur long before the chance to make the mistakes, such as abuse and neglect, and preventing the mistakes from ever occurring. The scenarios are not cut from the same cake.

Proving my point further, here is an example of a situation that does relate to the resolution.

First, it is not legally acceptable for people who don't pass their drivers test to drive for long distances. If we are teaching aspiring drivers how to be responsible with cars, why are we not teaching aspiring parents how to be responsible for another person's life?

That's not the only thing either. Aspiring doctors are required to complete their education in medicine, aspiring engineers are also required complete their education in engineering--- the list goes on. Again, knowing that, why are aspiring parents not required to be educated beforehand?

Yes, drivers still crash, doctors still make mistakes, and engineers aren't always the best- but with education, crash rates and mistakes are lowered significantly, and it would work in the same way for parenting.

As I stated earlier, the very existence of bad parents proves the fact that aspiring parents should be required to attend parenting courses. Whether or not the statistics convince my opponent of the necessity of the resolution, the statistics undoubtedly prove the presence of bad parents- a harm the world is better off without.

Taking my leave with those words, I still strongly believe that all parents should be required to take parenting classes before parenthood, and I hope that my arguments have served to reaffirm the resolution.
lefillegal

Con

"First off, the stats I choose to show are all about bad parents, as my opponent has pointed out. This in itself is proof that bad parents exist,..."

And that is all it proves.

"...which, in essence, is why I believe that parents should be educated prior to parenthood."

Can you prove to me this "education", will yield better results? What I mean is, just like school, did you consider the students who don't care for the education you are teaching? Did you consider, in this sex crazed generation, in which 3rd, 7th, and 10th graders are educated in sex, yet still act irresponsible with that knowledge? The increase in teen mothers can be used to show how education is often ignored.

"Yes, I understand that good parents exist as well. I never once stated that they didn't. As I hope I implied earlier, the point of the education would be to reduce the amount of bad parents, thus reducing the amount of children that end up neglected and/or abused."

As shown in the teen mother scenario, education is not working, especially towards learning responsibility, which in essence, is what parenting boils down to. Just because education can inform you, doesn't mean it makes you abide by its rules. People are still free to choose whether to use that education or not.

"Also, it is impossible to tell whether a parent will be good or bad before they begin parenthood. Offering classes for aspiring parents would not only serve to reduce child harms,"

Its also impossible to tell if this education WILL reduce child harm. As proven above, just because education can, doesn't mean it WILL.

"...but also would benefit the parent in question, as they may learn "life hacks" on how to better raise children."

A "life hack" on responsibility? Hmmm."

"Now addressing the questions- first off, yes, on numerous occasions innocent people have gone to jail because of the crimes of others- but that isn't the point."

You are correct, that isnt the point. The point was SHOULD innocent people go to jail for crimes of others?

"The truth is, the questions that have been listed don't exactly relate to the main idea."

I shall prove otherwise.

"Being framed in a trial and paying for a bill both come after the wrongdoing has been committed,..."

When exactly does abuse and neglect come, before or after becoming a parent?

"...whereas teaching parenting skills would occur long before the chance to make the mistakes, such as abuse and neglect, and preventing the mistakes from ever occurring."

Using your logic, arent criminals taught, long before they first break the law, that the breaking of laws will cost them their freedom? Do they not still break the law? Is there any less crime? According to stats crimes keep going up, aren't any of these criminals educated about law breaking?

"The scenarios are not cut from the same cake."

The context stands, the implications of both were, SHOULD innocent people be REQUIRED to pay for the guilty? Relating to your proposition, one can logically conclude good parents shouldn't have to pay for the ways of bad parents. I believe I've shown how education alone, cannot determine the outcome of a student. To reiterate that idea, many students having the same education, ALWAYS take that same education and go different directions, with different results. Ask any college graduate where his degree got him, and the results will vary. Some are what we label successful, others claim its of no use to them. If education produced the results you expect of them, where do these claims come from?

"Proving my point further, here is an example of a situation that does relate to the resolution.
First, it is not legally acceptable for people who don't pass their drivers test to drive for long distances. If we are teaching aspiring drivers how to be responsible with cars, why are we not teaching aspiring parents how to be responsible for another person's life?"

Now that's out of context. What law says becoming a parent is illegal? It is illegal to not know the rules of the road and drive true, but what are the rules to parenting? All the different books on parenting only agree on the things which we instinctively do, and disagree on all others. To which rules should we adhere to?

"That's not the only thing either. Aspiring doctors are required to complete their education in medicine, aspiring engineers are also required complete their education in engineering--- the list goes on. Again, knowing that, why are aspiring parents not required to be educated beforehand?"

First, comparing fields of education to parenting is a weak comparison. Those preparations are for work. A job in which they expext to get paid. If paying for services, i would like to think im dealing with a person trained in those services. If trained, then obviously there are standards to meet. We can call these "industry standards". I would expect a doctor to know those "industry standards" because thats what im paying for. But who pays parents? And the so called "industry standards" is the same "parental instincts" we all have. Do we even agree on what the basic parental instincts are? Who decided what's in and what's out? As stated earlier, even if we consider education, you haven't proven that it will work. Why should we require people to do something, especially if that something may or may not help?

"Yes, drivers still crash, doctors still make mistakes, and engineers aren't always the best- but with education, crash rates and mistakes are lowered significantly, and it would work in the same way for parenting."

First we would have to assume that one takes his parenting as seriously as one does his craft. The driver, doctor and engineer obviously take their crafts seriously hence, all the preparation. They stand behind the integrity of their expertise. Unfortunately, all parents do not take their responsibility seriously. So far, education hasnt been shown to increase their responsibility, instead it only increases their knowledge of it. Nor has it even shown that it will be used once attained. As stats also show, which you don't mention, that parenting courses ONLY work when parents actually care, and want to be respponsible. CPS has offered AND REQUIRED bad parents to take parenting courses for years, yet their kids are STILL being neglected and abused. What purpose did those couses serve besides the appearance of helping? Parenting courses have proven to do nothing, even when required, if a parent chooses to remain irresponsible.

"As I stated earlier, the very existence of bad parents proves the fact that aspiring parents should be required to attend parenting courses."

As stated previously, it actually proves nothing, other than there are bad parents.

"Whether or not the statistics convince my opponent of the necessity of the resolution, the statistics undoubtedly prove the presence of bad parents- a harm the world is better off without."

Again them same statistics can prove bad parents exist, and of those that do exist, parenting classes did not help. As stated earlier, whenever Children's Protective Services(CPS) opens a case against a parent, parenting classes are ordered by a judge. Even with this court order, a majority of parents still go on to neglect and abuse children. That my friend, proves parenting courses cant change a persons actions. That change is solely the action of a parent, making a decision to act responsible. Real education, can only come AFTER that decision is made. Thereby reducing its role to no importance beforehand. If this education is of no importance, before a decision is made to act responsibly, then it should not be required.

"Taking my leave with those words, I still strongly believe that all parents should be required to take parenting classes before parenthood, and I hope that my arguments have served to reaffirm the resolution."

To summarize, I believe a decision to act responsible, must be made by the individual, BEFORE education will have, if any, effect. And as ive shown, if parenting classes may or may not be effective, then why should they be required.
Debate Round No. 2
GildedBindings

Pro

Before I delve into my final arguments, I would like to begin by thanking my opponent once again. This has been an interesting and intellectual debate, and I have enjoyed it.

With that said, I would like to please ask that no new arguments be made in Con's final round, seeing as I will be unable to address them without another round of my own. Knowing that I failed to bring this up in the first speech, I hope that Con agrees on the unfairness of new arguments which cannot be addressed, and only brings up the topics and arguments stated in rounds prior to this.

Without further ado, I shall begin.

["...This in itself is proof that bad parents exist..."
And that is all it proves.]

That is what I was striving to prove, thank you for accepting the undeniable fact that bad parents exist and basically admitting that SOMETHING must be done about it.

[Can you prove to me this "education", will yield better results? What I mean is, just like school, did you consider the students who don't care for the education you are teaching? Did you consider, in this sex crazed generation, in which 3rd, 7th, and 10th graders are educated in sex, yet still act irresponsible with that knowledge? The increase in teen mothers can be used to show how education is often ignored.]

First of all, the so-called 'increase' in teen mothers is nonexistent- in recent years, the statistics for teen mothers have actually gone DOWN, not up, for almost 25 years. (source-http://www.cdc.gov...) Seeing as Con fails to source their information here and I have proven them wrong with a piece of sourced data, Con's argument already crumbles to dust as baseless conjecture.

Which means that the argument about education being ignored is flawed in itself as it no longer has any logical backing, since our "sex-crazed generation" is actually improving, not deteriorating.

Anyway, comparing adult learning to teenage and child learning does not work seeing as the teenage mind is wired differently than adults.

Excerpt- During the adolescent years, the brain is growing and maturing. Knowledge is becoming abunant. They are learning through experiences and seperating from their parents to form their own identify through friendships. They are still learning to manage emotions caused by hormones while trying to fit in with their peers and figure out who they are.
With all these different developments going on, the brain is growing and maturing but the last part of the brain to reach full maturity is the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain is where a majority of the executive functions are located. Executive functions are the highest level of thought processes which help differentiate humans from animals. These functions include attention, the ability to regulate emotions, plan/organize, logic, reason, the ability to inhibit impulses (verbal/behavior), problem solving, ability to multi-task, and working memory.
Some of these functions are present during childhood such as working memory and attention. The others begin to emerge in the preteen years and continue to mature throughout adolescence into adulthood. That being said, adolescents are still developing their abilities to reason, inhibit impulses, plan and problem solve. In summery, adolescents think that they have all the answers but do not understand that they are still developing a significant part of their brain that allows them to rationalize their decisions and accurately plan the consequences of their actions.
(Source- http://blogs.psychcentral.com...)

As can be seen through this article, adolescents are hard wired to make more mistakes than adults, which would explain the sometimes stupid decisions children and teenagers make almost daily. These parenting classes would not be for adolescents and such, but for adults who plan on having a child soon, therefore my opponent's example has, once again, failed.

As for those who don't care for the education- they would be unable to pass the course. Caring and motivation are two things that should be required for parenting, and failure to show commitment to a class would result in failing the class. In order to actually achieve 'ideal' levels, aspiring parents would have to show their expertise in all the areas required for parenting- meaning that it would be illegal for those who don't pass to become parents until they finally do pass the course.

Yes, I understand that people who don't care WILL undoubtedly be out there, but seeing as caring is important, especially in parenthood, it's logical to use care as a criteria for passing the class, therefore only those who care will actually pass and be allowed to become parents.

And since the only graduates would be ideal parents, that is proof enough that the education will be sufficient.

[Its also impossible to tell if this education WILL reduce child harm. As proven above, just because education can, doesn't mean it WILL.]

Please see the argument listed above. Again, if we keep it illegal until they actually obtain a passion for the education, the education will serve it's purpose and reduce child harm.

["...but also would benefit the parent in question, as they may learn "life hacks" on how to better raise children."
A "life hack" on responsibility? Hmmm.]

My opponent makes a critical mistake in boiling down the entirety of parenthood to responsibility. Pro recognizes that responsibility is immensely important in child rearing, however, to raise a child, it takes much more than simple responsibility. As an example, let's take a look some simple morals. To be a good parent, it takes dedication, care, patience- and those are three of the numerous traits required.

The "life hacks" I was referring to also had no direct connection to responsibility. I was leaning down the lines of 'how to change a diaper cleanly,' 'how to put a baby to sleep,' 'how to bring up 'the talk,' and the like.

You can be the most responsible person in the world, but if you have no clue how to do any of these tasks and many, many more, then parenting will still be immensely difficult. This portion would be to make it easier on aspiring parents to take care of their children and raise them more easily.

Before I continue, I would like to post an excerpt from my opponent's initial argument. You may understand why once I unveil the issues.

[Let me start by stating, all stats you choose to show, will only serve to prove, that while there are bad parents, there are also many good parents.
This begs the question, why should good parents be required to learn how to parent, when its only the bad ones who need the instruction?
Do good citizens go to jail for the crimes bad citizens commit? Does your cell phone provider charge you for your neighbors unpaid bill? The list goes on and on.]

["Now addressing the questions- first off, yes, on numerous occasions innocent people have gone to jail because of the crimes of others- but that isn't the point."
You are correct, that isnt the point. The point was SHOULD innocent people go to jail for crimes of others?]

Right, let's double check that... Nope, in their first round, Con did not say 'should' but 'do,' and the answer, as both myself and Con have acknowledged, is yes, innocent people do go to jail for crimes of others. So that WAS, at the time of statement, actually not the point, however, assuming that Con simply made a mistake and meant to say that this IS the point, in which case I will delve into that topic in the following argument.

["Being framed in a trial and paying for a bill both come after the wrongdoing has been committed,..."
-When exactly does abuse and neglect come, before or after becoming a parent?]

Again, we see a clear cut example of Con twisting his words. Please quickly refer to the excerpt from Con's initial speech.

Find it? Yes? No? The contradiction Between Con's words? If not, let me point it out.

[This begs the question, why should good parents be required to learn how to parent, when its only the bad ones who need the instruction?
Do good citizens go to jail for the crimes bad citizens commit?]

As can be clearly seen, in his initial speech, Con WAS NOT referring to abuse and neglect, but why good parents would need instruction. Granted, I refuted the point that only bad parents would need the education by stating that we wouldn't know whether the person in question would be a good parent or a bad parent PRIOR to actually becoming a parent.

Obviously the questions listed directly above have no relation to each other, however, if Con wishes to relate his two questions to abuse and neglect, I shall adhere. In addition, I'll edit the sentences to include words my opponent mistakenly assumed were already there, for example, the substitution of 'do' for 'should.'

Should good citizens go to jail for the crimes bad citizens commit? The answer here is obviously no, good citizens should not go to jail for the crimes of bad citizens. Now to relate this question to abuse and neglect specifically.

Should children be abused and neglected because of the incompetence of their parents? Morally, the answer SHOULD be no. Children SHOULD NOT be abused nor neglected because of their parents' incompetence.

So, as can be seen, when related to abuse and neglect as Con wished, his argument only ends up strengthening mine- Children should not be abused nor neglected because of bad parenting. Thank you, Con.

[Using your logic, arent criminals taught, long before they first break the law, that the breaking of laws will cost them their freedom? Do they not still break the law? Is there any less crime? According to stats crimes keep going up, aren't any of these criminals educated about law breaking?]

I would like to use Con's argument about passion here. If, at the time of education, these criminals were not passionate about what they had learned, then their education would serve no purpose. Of course, as I said earlier and as I will continue to say, passion will be a requirement for aspiring parents to pass the course. No questions asked.

[I believe I've shown how education alone, cannot determine the outcome of a student... Some are what we label successful, others claim its of no use to them. If education produced the results you expect of them, where do these claims come from?]

Again, using Con's passion argument to state that the non-passionate students wouldn't learn, it is logical to say that non-passionate people won't make a full use of their education, which explains the claims. Once again, passion will be required for passing parenting classes, meaning this part of the argument has fallen as well.

["Proving my point further, here is an example of a situation that does relate to the resolution.
First, it is not legally acceptable for people who don't pass their drivers test to drive for long distances. If we are teaching aspiring drivers how to be responsible with cars, why are we not teaching aspiring parents how to be responsible for another person's life?"
Now that's out of context. What law says becoming a parent is illegal? It is illegal to not know the rules of the road and drive true, but what are the rules to parenting? All the different books on parenting only agree on the things which we instinctively do, and disagree on all others. To which rules should we adhere to?]

I can't believe how easy Con has made my job here- bless my luck. First of all, there is no law that says becoming a parent is illegal; thank you for conveniently pointing that out.

My entire goal here is to prove that there SHOULD be a law preventing people from becoming parents until their education in parenting is completed. Seeing as Con also admits to unlicensed driving being illegal, it is easy to see the exact point I was trying to make: "If we are teaching aspiring drivers how to be responsible with cars, WHY ARE WE NOT teaching aspiring parents how to be responsible for another person's life?"

Adding to that, it's obvious that a life is, overall, worth more than a car. Stating otherwise is morally unjust and unacceptable. Knowing that, AGAIN, WHY are we not teaching people how to be responsible with a life?!?

[...comparing fields of education to parenting is a weak comparison.]

Not if I'm arguing that parenting should be a type of education it ain't.

[Those preparations are for work. A job in which they expext to get paid. If paying for services, i would like to think im dealing with a person trained in those services. If trained, then obviously there are standards to meet. We can call these "industry standards". I would expect a doctor to know those "industry standards" because thats what im paying for. But who pays parents? And the so called "industry standards" is the same "parental instincts" we all have. Do we even agree on what the basic parental instincts are?]

"Who pays parents?"

That was obviously not very well taught out. The overall goal and the endgame of parenting is to leave behind someone you love who can continue the family and the bloodlines, and that is why parenting pays off.

Seeing as each human should have the basic rights of 'life, liberty and happiness,' it is the parent's 'job' to ensure this for their child.

As for parental instincts and the fact that not everyone sees eye to eye on what they are, this plan also serves to eliminate that problem. By requiring every parent to take parenting courses, a better idea of what parenting is will be taught in a 'universal language' where every parent has the same basic expectations, much like every job has their industry standards. If everybody were taught the same way about parenting, then your 'industry standards' for parenting would be the same everywhere, as it should be.

[Unfortunately, all parents do not take their responsibility seriously. So far, education hasnt been shown to increase their responsibility, instead it only increases their knowledge of it. Nor has it even shown that it will be used once attained. As stats also show, which you don't mention, that parenting courses ONLY work when parents actually care, and want to be respponsible. CPS has offered AND REQUIRED bad parents to take parenting courses for years, yet their kids are STILL being neglected and abused. What purpose did those couses serve besides the appearance of helping? Parenting courses have proven to do nothing, even when required, if a parent chooses to remain irresponsible.]

Con is, once again, lacking a source to validate their claims, and from his previous unpacked claims being proven false, we can assume that this claim too is false and his entire argument falls apart here. If Con wishes to retake this argument, I would like a source to validate his claims on CPS requirements, the future status of those families, and the baseline for CPS courses.

That said, I did say that passion would be required, and responsibility is largely based on passion, and, of course, would be required as well. So again, since only the responsible people are allowed to pass and become parents, only the responsible people will become parents in the near future, eliminating the problem for the future. Which means that Con's statement that education only works on responsible people backs up the fact that those who pass would be educated and responsible at the same time. Thanks again, Con.

["As I stated earlier, the very existence of bad parents proves the fact that aspiring parents should be required to attend parenting courses."
As stated previously, it actually proves nothing, other than there are bad parents.]

Thank you, Con, once again, for reaffirming my point for me! Yes there are bad parents out there, thank you for understa- wait, you're still arguing that we should do nothing about this? Hello? Can anybody else see that there's a problem that needs to be solved? Yes? No? Maybe?

*Deep sigh of disappointment*

It's like there's a meteor about to strike the Earth and even though everybody knows it, they still strive to stop the efforts to block the meteor without providing another solution! It's almost crazy!

Moving on and hoping I've made my point.

[To summarize, I believe a decision to act responsible, must be made by the individual, BEFORE education will have, if any, effect. And as ive shown, if parenting classes may or may not be effective, then why should they be required.]

Seeing as I've proven both that the decision to act responsible is a requirement and that the classes WILL be effective, to Con's specifications, I have proven Con's points false and inaccurate.

Once again, I hope I have reaffirmed the resolution well, thank you Con for this debate. I strongly believe that all parents should be required to take parenting classes before becoming a parent. Deuces.
lefillegal

Con

lefillegal forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
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