The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Editorials

February 23, 2014

Good parents vital to success

Danville’s Center for Children’s Services provides a number of assistance programs to area residents, but the organization’s parenting classes rank among the most important.

Young parents can take advantage of the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to raise their children to be successful adults. The classes fill an important need within our community.

To older readers, such classes might seem to be a waste of time and money. But our society has seen significant changes during the past several decades.

Fifty years ago, it was not unusual to see several generations of the same family living within the same community, often within the same home. That allowed life lessons — including parenting skills — to be taught by example and learned by experience.

Today, the easy mobility of people moving from one city to another, the acceptance and growing frequency of divorce, and many other factors all serve to fracture today’s families. Instead of all living within a single community, today’s families are likely to see members spread across the country.

Experts now say a significant part of any child’s learning and the ability to learn occurs before age 3. During this critical time, single parents sometimes find themselves almost alone with their children, without a family resource to rely upon. That can lead to problems for the parent and long-term problems for the child.

State and federal governments spend significant dollars on preschool programs in an effort to help children build a solid foundation for learning.

Perhaps some of those dollars should be redirected toward training mothers and fathers to be good parents. It appears there’s a greater reward possible with that strategy.

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