Archived Opinion

Child rearing should 
take place at home

Child rearing should 
take place at home

To the Editor: 

It’s almost humorous to read about what a child should glean from Pre-K and kindergarten. I said “almost humorous” because to me even the theory of Pre-K and kindergarten is categorically terrifying. I know this letter will quickly take on a Jurassic tone but, in my view, to believe children need Pre-K to learn socialization skills is beyond absurd. 

There was a time (not a million, but just 60 years ago) when socialization, also colors and shapes, the numbers, how to print (even write in cursive) how to read, play — everything a child could possibly learn in Pre-K or kindergarten — was taught at home by parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and in villages across our nation. Children went to the movies on Saturday, you never saw a school bus parked outside a movie theater on a school day. Parents once actually reared their children. 

Children entered school in the first grade at age six (or slightly before depending on when their birthday fell). They possessed the necessary basic skills and knowledge that teachers (with the help of parents) built on to “promote the welfare of children and youth in the home, school, church and community.” That’s a quote, the first objective of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers (1940s). Note, the home came first. 

There was a time in America when childrearing was natural and instinctive. People got married, had children, and reared them. Taking away all the intellectual rhetoric, the purpose of raising children is to help them out of our lives and into successful lives of their own. 

In the last 60 years, we’ve done such a good job of turning wives into mothers and husbands into dads, that by the time their kids leave home they’ve forgotten how to be married. Please remember too, men are just as important as women to the raising of children. Unfortunately, many people today think of childrearing as primarily “women’s work” and as a result we’re inclined to regard fathers as “parenting aides.”

Another thing we’ve managed to misplace over time, and which is a valuable tenet of childrearing, is that children, from an early age, should be responsible and contributing members of the family. Children require a lot of supervision but not a lot of attention. Too much attention (like too much of any good thing) is addictive. 

Contrary to what many people believe, previous generations of women were not home with their children, they were home for their children. They supervised but otherwise did not pay a lot of attention or become highly involved ... and kids did just fine. 

Parenting is basically just getting in touch with your common sense and perhaps giving your children a regular, healthy dose of Vitamin “N,” as in “No.”

Schools are where children are educated, not raised. Rearing is done at home. Then, when a child goes to school (at an appropriate age) he takes his parents with him in the form of their discipline, their expectations, and their values. 

David L. Snell  

Franklin

Leave a comment

4 comments

  • You’re obviously very old. You have no idea how hard raising kids is in this day in age. Back in your day could live off of a single income and afford a good life. Some parents are out here STRUGGLING to put food on the table. We’ve been in a pandemic for years! Young adults, teenagers and kids are all STRUGGLING- we’ve been through trauma! We don’t have a village. We have ourselves and we’re doing the best we can. You might want to step off your high horse and read the room.

    posted by Anon.

    Monday, 03/21/2022

  • I didn’t know the solution was so simple.

    posted by Moe V. Ingyon

    Sunday, 03/20/2022

  • Well said! The primary reason children are killing other children today, as in school shootings, is because they have grown up glued to cell phones, video games, computers, televisions, instead of out in their neighborhoods playing together and learning how to get along with each other. That’s where social skills are learned! The escalation in children shooting other children strongly points to the failure of early schooling. These children are clearly NOT learning in the school room the social skills they used to learn playing with the other children in their neighborhoods.

    posted by Helen Geltman

    Friday, 03/18/2022

  • "old man yells at cloud"

    posted by Roboman Personbot

    Friday, 03/18/2022

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