ERIC Number: ED409114
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-May
Reference Count: N/A
Reducing Governmental Interventions in Families by Licensing Parents.
Westman, Jack C.
Creation of a parent license would validate parental rights, establish parental responsibility, and provide a basis for societal support of parenting through financial benefits, parent education and training, and protective services for children. Government has played an increasing role in family life through laws defining and mandating parental responsibilities because too many parents neglect their childrearing responsibilities or have misused their power. Childrearing styles that produce competent adults are characterized by secure relationships with dependable parents who model self-control; lack of bonding with parents is the critical factor related to future criminal behavior, abuse, and neglect. Economic factors related to affluence and material aspirations, attitudinal factors emphasizing individualism and dependency on experts, and psychological factors regarding absent or insecure parent-child attachment bonds underlie contemporary social values that undermine parenting and obscure the importance of competent parenting to society. Because society's future depends upon competent parents and children, parents are accountable to, and need the support of, society. Rather than assuming that all parents are competent, it is more accurate to assume that most parents are competent, but children need protection from incompetent parents. Society may strengthen parenting by creating a paradigm in which parenthood is an earned relationship, with a license signifying that the parent is committed to rearing the child. Procedures for licensing parents would involve timing of application, licensure criteria, and administration. By increasing competent parenting, parent licenses would substantially reduce the need for governmental intervention in families. (KDFB)
Descriptors: Attachment Behavior, Child Abuse, Child Advocacy, Child Neglect, Child Rearing, Children, Childrens Rights, Family (Sociological Unit), Government Role, Intervention, Parent Attitudes, Parent Background, Parent Child Relationship, Parent Education, Parent Influence, Parent Responsibility, Parent Rights, Parent Role, Parenting Skills, Parents, Poverty, Welfare Recipients
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A