The Instigator
theocatzop
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
Jasse
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

People should attend parenting classes before having a baby

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
theocatzop
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/20/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,848 times Debate No: 55081
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (1)

 

theocatzop

Pro

Acceptance first.
Jasse

Con

G'day,

'People should attend classes' vs 'People should be obligated to attend a few classes'

Your clarifications in the comments section imply we are debating the later.

Either way, go for it!
Debate Round No. 1
theocatzop

Pro

Dear Jasse, the topic is people should attend parenting classes before having a baby vs people should not attend parenting classes before having a baby.
As I wrote in my comment: "Poiyurt The debate would be on whether they should... " and,
"Only the first few classes would be compulsory" as they are the most important ones.

OK, here follows my opinion on why I think parenting classes are important:

PARENTING CLASSES PROMOTE CHILDREN'S RIGHT TO A HIGH STANDARD OF PARENTING:

Given that it may not be possible to use legal or monitoring systems to encourage parents to take better care of their children, making the first few parenting classes compulsory would help prioritize the best interests of the child (inhttp://www.fivecounties.on.ca... terms of health and future opportunities) without necessarily constraining the educational choices of parents. Parenting classes would help ensure that parents know what is regarded as good for their children and would promote the rights of young people to a decent upbringing, whilst only minimally impacting on parents. In 2006, the then Home Secretary John Reid argues that 'By tackling bad parenting we are tackling child disadvantage and social exclusion. For example, 90 per cent of repeating juvenile offenders have a history of behavior problems as a child.* I, personally believe that as children are obliged by the law to live with their parents who have the right to decide what is bad and good for them until they become adults, the state should at least make sure that these people have been informed about their role.
*. http://www.theguardian.com...

BAD PARENTING HAS AN IMPACT ON THE REST OF SOCIETY:

The state has a strong moral, practical and financial interest in the raising of its future citizens. This is why most liberal democracies offer extensive and costly child support systems (including child-support payments, free nursery care, parental leave arrangements) to aid parents in raising young people who can be active and respectful members of society. Louise Casey, Government Respect Co-ordinator, argues that the best results come from preventative action: "I think we have got to do everything to make sure we are tackling not just anti-social behavior today, but preventing the next generation of people growing up with signs of anti-social behavior in the future." *Compulsory parenting classes could be a means to ensure the cohesion and prosperity of its future generations by raising the standard of parenting they receive.
* http://news.bbc.co.uk...

]2;he structure within the family household could determine the extent of delinquency manifested by a juvenile. Family relationships, duties, responsibilities and privileges, and the amount of control exercised over children all play roles in forming character and influencing behavior. The attitudes and actions of parents can create an important influence in the lives of children. Families in crisis will most likely affect the behavior of juveniles. (http://yale.edu...)

STANDARDIZED INFORMATION HAS GREAT VALUE:
Currently, information about parenting is scarce, patchy and inconsistent. It would benefit all if up-to-date parenting information provided by medical staff, psychologists, nutritionists, educators and so on, were made accessible and standardized: all parents would receive the same basic and essential information. And information is always valuable and often appreciated by those who receive it. The charity Barnardo"s argues that those who attended their classes "were unanimously positive about the impact of courses and were clear that attending them provided them with new skills and confidence in their parenting ability." 1Parenting classes would provide up-to-date and standardized information useful to guide prospective parents" behavior and it would not amount to imposing one model of parenting on all.
1 http://www.barnardos.org.uk...
Jasse

Con

Hey Theocatzop,
Thanks for sharing your opinion. You want the world to be the best it can be and believe implementing programmes such as parenting classes would make the world a better place. It's a worthy intention. However there's a saying in my society that roughly translates to what I believe is a saying in english: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions". And I believe this is the case here. Not that you'll go to hell if you take parenting classes ;)

My explanation revolves around the fact that there is no universal theorems or methods when it comes to parenting. Suggesting that there are would have a negative effect on society.

WHY I'M AGAINST PARENTING CLASSES:

CLASS TOPICS ARE SUBJECTIVE
Topics that would be covered in such a class would be of subjective nature. Anything that isn't subjective is common knowledge drilled into our heads every day (don't eat sugar, don't smoke).
That leaves subjective topics such as how to raise a child: discipline, teaching respect, honesty, confidence, proper values. My research confirms the subjectivity of topics: examples of typical class topics are (http://www.pricelessparenting.com...) "Allowing Your Children to Learn From Experience"; "Resolving Continuing Problem Behavior".
However there is no "correct" method. Different societies have different values. And different households need to deal with situations very differently. There is no universal truth.

STANDARDIZED VALUES BASED ON SUBJECTIVE NORMS ARE DETRIMENTAL TO SOCIETY

We are not robots. Our society already controls our needs and wants and what we should or shouldn't do. One kid got bit by a dog and now my whole city is required to have fenced lots even if we don't have a dog. We are headed towards a society where all kids have GPS chip implants.

Taking classes promotes a certain type of parenting. "This is how you should parent". But every child and every family is different, so when a 'parenting teacher' tells you not to bribe your child and one day your child doesn't eat their veggies and you tell your child they can't have desert you'll be breaking the 'good parent code'. Which is ridiculous. No one should have to tell us what's the 'best' or 'correct' way to deal with our kids. Is that really the kind of society we want to live in?
There are laws to promote and enforce safety, which is enough. We don't need the state to meddle in values and morality.

This debate isn't provable from either side. It comes down to whether or not you believe standardized teachings cause more harm than good. You included referenced opinions that you agreed with. Here are two I agree with:

(1) "...the parenting advice proposed by experts on behalf of the state violates the religious or cultural identity of the family, proving offensive and causing either internal tension in the family or social alienation."
1 Louise Casey and Jill Kirby, Head to Head: Parenting Classes, BBC News, 21 November 2006.

(2) "The thought that there is an "objectively correct" way to raise a child is a strongly idealised conception...applying such a principle of "objectivity" more widely risks demonising families who lovingly wish to raise their children according to their own beliefs and do not put the wellbeing of their children at risk. Educational standards, and parenting behaviour as recommended by the experts are not objective truths and are always open to challenge and debate. Even in purportedly "scientific" areas such as medical advice...When the state proposes standards of "good parenting", it provides grounds to criticise virtually all parents. A paper from the charity Barnardo"s argues that "ineffective programmes let families down and waste money."1 No parent or child is perfect " but the vast majority have the right to pursue their personal relationship without fear of intrusion. Imposing parenting classes would foster an unhealthy environment of suspicion of difference."
2. . Eva Lloyd, What Works In Parenting Education? " Summary, Barnardo"s (1999).

Here are my responses to your 'pro' arguments:
RE: PARENTING CLASSES PROMOTE CHILDREN'S RIGHT TO A HIGH STANDARD OF PARENTING:
"Parenting classes would help ensure that parents know what is regarded as good for their children and would promote the rights of young people to a decent upbringing...". As detailed earlier, the state should not be deciding what is the correct way to raise a child. There is no such thing as a general 'high standard': standards are relative and different to every individual based on experiences, perspectives, environment, education, religion, values, society, etc.

RE: BAD PARENTING HAS AN IMPACT ON THE REST OF SOCIETY:
All parenting has an impact on society. All impact it negatively and positively at varying levels. Determining the quality of parenting is completely subjective: I may believe my neighbour is a bad parent because he doesn't volunteer at his kids' school and gives ice cream to his kids once a month. Who's to judge what a bad parent is? The drunk dad who got abused as a child and abuses his kids? That's not a parenting issue resolvable with a few parenting classes. It would take years of psychological and financial support from the state to have a possible impact on the family. Classes would not make 'bad' parents good parents. People open to acquiring specific knowledge will seek it on their own.

RE: STANDARDIZED INFORMATION HAS GREAT VALUE:
Should the 18 year old single mom working 70 hour weeks really be told that spoiling kids is bad. Don't think she needs the same advice as the 38 year old millionaire couple. I could spend months reading books on how to deal with my teenager with no positive impact. I assure you a one hour class will have no impact on my teenager's life. A single mom who spends her days high and drunk watching tv could spend years in counselling without changing so is her teenager's fate really going to change because of a few parenting classes she took 16 years ago?
Not only is every individual's situation unique, but standardized teaching inevitably attempts to define 'proper' parenting. It's both misleading and manipulative.
Standardization is the entire basis of my opposition- we are not clones. We should cherish our individuality and uniqueness.

IN CONCLUSION:
Parenting classes would be based on pre-determined standards. However there aren't norms when it comes to parenting- nor should there be.
Parenting classes negatively influence our unique behaviours and belief systems. Not to mention the obvious financial burden such classes would have on individuals and/or taxpayers. Perhaps such resources could be spent on universally beneficial training such as First Aid or CPR.

Yours truly,
Jasse
:)
Debate Round No. 2
theocatzop

Pro

Dear Jasse,
Unfortunately you did not get my point. Your argument was that it is not right to oblige people follow certain rules wile raising their children as there is not a right or a wrong way to do so. But was it so difficult for you to understand that what is taught in these classes is not a law but some advice? Really, no one can make you apply what you have been taught, but why is it so bad for you to listen to some people who have more knowledge and experience on this issue? The purpose of these classes is not to make people "robots" as you said and impose them a certain way to raise their children but to help them form their own opinion on what is the ideal way FOR THEM to do so. I know that you are a very intelligent person and you really love your children but sometimes it is better for you to get some advice, listen to experiences of people who have already been parents and compare them in order to reach a conclusion about what is the best way FOR YOU to handle the same or similar situations, watch the results of a research while having the chance to ask some experts for details, clarifications or something you did not understand etc. Parenting classes are not a threat to the society but some help. We have to be thankful for that.

" Determining the quality of parenting is completely subjective: I may believe my neighbour is a bad parent because he doesn't volunteer at his kids' school and gives ice cream to his kids once a month. Who's to judge what a bad parent is?
I have to admit that you are partially right. I was a little bit vague. I was talking about the objective meaning of the word "bad". For example when a parent abuses his children he is objectively a bad parent. Of course, as you said, there is not a right or a wrong opinion and someone can support the opposite. But I challenge you to do a poll; Ask people if they think that abusing children is a good or a bad thing. I bet that if not everyone then the 95% of the participants will say NO. And when the percentage is so high then there is an objective opinion that it can also be characterized as a general truth and is not as subjective as you think.

"The drunk dad who got abused as a child and abuses his kids? That's not a parenting issue resolvable with a few parenting classes. It would take years of psychological and financial support from the state to have a possible impact on the family.Classes would not make 'bad' parents good parents. People open to acquiring specific knowledge will seek it on their own." OK, you did not get my point too. I did not say that parenting classes would help people with psychological problems. I suppose that these people would not even attend the classes. ( And don't say that lessons are compulsory so everyone must come :1) I said that the first few lesson are mandatory 2)I don't think these people would be very interested in trying not to break the law) .But you know what? Those who cause problems to the society are not always desperate and abused teenagers who have got mistreated by their psychologically disturbed parents as you would like to believe. There are also children who have never been asked about where they go, who are their friends, what they do simply because their parents do not care. This way, they end up doing drugs, becoming thieves and murderers. There are also children who have been overprotected or over-pressured by their parents and one day they decide to leave their houses and this is when they meet gangs and become members. There are also girls who are pregnant or teens who have made something illegal and they do not return home because they are afraid of the reactions of their parents who had not developed a good relationship with them. There are a lot of reasons a children has ,voluntarily or not, a negative impact to the society. And if some of these parents had attend parenting classes then it would be better for both them and their children.

You have to understand something:
There are basic skills and knowledge that are vital to the health and welfare of all children. Unfortunately, this information is not always easily accessible to parents and parents-to-be. Making the first few parenting classes compulsory would be a way to ensure that everybody has access to basic skills and basic knowledge which can inform and improve their parenting.Sadly, cases of abuse, neglect and bad childcare resulting into harm are all but rare. In these circumstances, the state should use preventive methods, rather than just waiting for harm to happen and trying to find a solution.The individual needs and values of parents and child are important and are not threatened by parenting classes. Some basic information about childcare and what is good for children should be known by all parents, and integrated with personal ideas about childcare that parents may already have. As the BBC recognizes, "Love comes naturally to most parents, but everyone faces difficulties at some point or another - from babies who won't sleep at night and toddlers who throw tantrums, to unruly teenagers."*

* BBC Parenting classes, BBC Health, 2011.

"I assure you a one hour class will have no impact on my teenager's life. A single mom who spends her days high and drunk watching tv could spend years in counselling without changing so is her teenager's fate really going to change because of a few parenting classes she took 16 years ago?" Oh, my god! Again and Again the same arguments... I really hate being repeated but you make me explain again and again the same things... THESE CLASSES ARE NOT ONLY FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS OR THEY ARE ADDICTED TO SOMETHING!!! THEY ARE MAINLY FOR HEALTHY PARENTS WHO CARE ABOUT THEIR CHILDREN BUT AS RAISING A KID IS NOT A SIMPLE THING IT IS GOOD FOR THEM TO ATTEND THESE CLASSES FOR THE REASONS I MENTIONED IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH... I do not understand what is your problem.. this is some help provided by the government..Since you are not obliged to apply what you have been taught then why are you against parenting classes? Even if 1 person from 10 learns something useful for him which made him a better parent(objective meaning) then it is a benefit for the society. I do not understand; What will you gain if people will not attend parenting classes? The lessons are free and I think that they help a lot of people. Everything you know is good for you..The state should make the best to provide a better life to people. By making the first few classes mandatory then we will make sure that parents have at least been taught which is the recommended way to raise their children. If we think like you, then life skills should not be taught in schools as they are subjective and teenagers will not apply what they have learnt.. and it is true that some of the students do not do so but I suppose that the majority does or at least gains something. But even if nobody was interested in applying what they have been taught, schools would have to teach them life skills because you can not expect from someone to be a conscious citizen when he hasn't been taught how a conscious citizen should be.. It is the same thing; the society can not expect from someone to be good parent(objective meaning) when he/she has not been taught what a good parent( objective meaning) is.
Jasse

Con

Jasse forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by theocatzop 3 years ago
theocatzop
Geogeer Everything concerning children up to their adulthood. The first classes which are compulsory include the basic things a parent should know (especially things about babies and teenagers). As I have already said there are also more classes which are optional and only interested people would participate in.
Posted by theocatzop 3 years ago
theocatzop
DesertEagle Private organizations, hospitals, community education centers, and places of worship sometimes offer baby care classes. However, people can find such courses on the Internet for free but someone who takes this classes is not considered to be as well educated as those who take live classes. Nowadays, some governments have made an attempt to offer free classes but they are limited and for certain people. If parents start attend these classes, the governments will need to provide such classes but they are not so important yet
Posted by Geogeer 3 years ago
Geogeer
theocatzop - nothing really. What would the classes entail? Are we talking about how to care for a newborn or are you talking about issues later in life.
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 3 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
@revic, If they don't have the time or money for a class then what makes you think they'd have enough money or time for raising a child?

I'm with Pro even if that's the point raised by Con. I'd take Pro position with the condition that the classes are optional depending on the score received during an entrance exam. If they pass, no need to attend the class. If they don't, it's on to the classes due to the inability to understand the basics of parenting.

I tend to lack remorse, but when it comes to innocent babies... they don't choose which families they are born into - none of us do. We are simply thrown into existence. So, for me, I want these babies having the best chances possible. That obviously includes parents who are properly equipped with the knowledge and ability to provide those chances rather than hinder them.
Posted by DesertEagle 3 years ago
DesertEagle
Yes, but define what you mean by class enlisted on the title. Does it mean an organized class provided by government?
Posted by theocatzop 3 years ago
theocatzop
Geogeer And what can I do to help you?
Posted by Geogeer 3 years ago
Geogeer
LOL I come to the comments section of this page and I get ads for Huggies diapers and Meterna postpartum multivitamins...
Posted by theocatzop 3 years ago
theocatzop
I mean that there are some specialists (psychologists, sociologists etc.) who teach parents which is the recommended way to treat their children so that they have a good relationship , communicate effectively with them and be good parents in general.
Posted by theocatzop 3 years ago
theocatzop
let me revoke something. Only the first few classes would be compulsory but those who are conscious would still take the classes
Posted by DesertEagle 3 years ago
DesertEagle
thecatzop what do you mean by "class"?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by baus 2 years ago
baus
theocatzopJasseTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I felt the actual contentions were equal but conduct and sources to Pro as the forfeit and Pro is only one to use sources.