In Massachusetts, and many other states, you have to complete a Driver’s Education Course to get your License (See DMV website). As part of the course you have to attend 30 hours of classroom instruction, 12 hours behind the wheel, and 6 hours of observation from the backseat while another student driver takes your life in their hands. In addition, you have to spend 40 hours practicing with your parent. All of this to drive a motor vehicle from your home to the grocery store.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the value of Driver’s Ed You are operating a motor vehicle out on the streets where there are other people in cars, pedestrians, and young children running after soccer balls into the streets. It’s not just your life that is in danger when you are driving, it’s the lives of your friends, family, and people you have never met and their friends and families. I don’t question Driver’s Ed, but what I wonder is how can we be so concerned about properly operating motor vehicles and not have the same preemptive sense to require something similar of parents before they have a child? Why isn’t there a “Parenting Ed” requirement? I mean, as a parent it’s not just you out there “on the road”. As a parent you are impacting the life of your child and the lives of the other children and people that your child interacts with. Shouldn’t parents be at least as informed about basic health and child development objectives when they bring a child into this world as they are about using arm signals to make a right hand turn when they decide to drive their Honda to the mall?
I started this website because I wanted to help parents and kids. I believe that everyone can be a good parent and everyone should be a good parent, but I don’t believe that everyone is naturally born ready to parent well. I believe that no one learns to drive a car in the classroom of Driver’s Ed, but having that background information before you get thrown into a high-stress potentially dangerous situation can be life saving. Understanding background information about child development and parenting practices is important to help parents react when the realities and challenges of parenthood come at full force. So, I’m using this website as an opportunity to reach out to parents who may want to learn more about child development. I’m starting my own online Parenting Ed: Child Development Basics. Hope you enjoy!