49. Importance of Parents to Children’s Development and Learning and a Family’s Well Being (5/09)

Return to Index: Resolutions    

Whereas major studies over the past 40 years have consistently shown parents and families, rather than schools or teachers, to be the determining factor in whether a child succeeds academically and socially; and

Whereas day care and preschool have been shown to lead to anti-social and aggressive behavior; and

Whereas child care can have serious harmful results for the child, parents, and the family (For example, an abstract from a recent major study of universal child care includes these findings: “Finally, we uncover striking evidence that children are worse off in a variety of behavioral and health dimensions, ranging from aggression to motor-social skills to illness. Our analysis also suggests that the new childcare program led to more hostile, less consistent parenting, worse parental health, and lower-quality parental relationships.”[1]); and

Whereas screening practices designed to determine a child’s need for special education and/or to assess a child’s mental health have been shown to be unscientific and flawed, resulting in many children being inappropriately labeled and treated; and

Whereas the academic gains made by children who attend kindergarten have been shown to disappear by third grade; and

Whereas universal day care or preschool as well as mandatory kindergarten are among the polices being promoted by the federal and state governments; and

Whereas such programs may become more widely accepted and practiced and, as a result, people will accept as normal certain practices that are not only harmful and expensive but over time may be required, thereby undermining parents’ rights and responsibilities in many areas of family life; and

Whereas for many years there has been a movement among a wide range of professions (such as specialists in child development, teachers, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, family and juvenile court judges, and many researchers studying areas covered by these professions) to turn more and more children and families into their clients or sources of income; and

Whereas many of these professional groups as well as individual professionals identify the family itself, especially parents, as the cause of problems in the family and with children; and

Whereas these same professional interest groups have lobbied for and secured laws and procedures that grant these professionals the authority to use “the best interests of the child” rather than “the best interests of the family” as the standard in making decisions regarding a child’s placement, education, health care, religious practice, etc.; and

Whereas the media reports on social issues involving children and parents rely almost exclusively on studies and research done by the professional interest groups with little, if any, independent investigation; and

Whereas these professions have established associations that promote their professions and practices often with large budgets and lobbyists; and

Whereas by and large parents are not organized as parents, do not have lobbyists, and do not have significant representation in the world of academic experts and researchers or in the media; and

Whereas the growing trend regarding child care and learning is to further empower professionals and institutions at the expense and undermining of parents and families; and

Whereas homeschoolers have demonstrated how effective ordinary parents can be in educating and socializing children as well as preparing them for employment and higher education;

Be it resolved by members of Wisconsin Parents Association (WPA) that WPA will work to educate parents, legislators, the media, and the general public about the essential role parents play in their children’s learning and development and the harm that can be caused to children, parents, and families by early institutionalization of children and/or professional screening and treatment. 5/09

(1) Universal Child Care, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being by Michael Baker – University of Toronto and National Bureau of Economic Research, Jonathan Gruber – Massachusetts Institute of Technology and National Bureau of Economic Research, and Kevin Milligan – University of British Columbia and National Bureau of Economic Research. Published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Working Paper No. 11832
Issued in December 2005. Also, published by Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(4), pages 709-745, 08. 5/09

Comments are closed