Instead blaming parents, what happens if we as a society nurture the parents who nurture children ages 0-9? Do the parents become welfare cases? Do their children become leeches on taxpayers?
The answer is NO!
When any and every parent in whole counties can access brief parenting supports almost anywhere in their community, great things happen—quickly. This was discovered by major study funded by the US Centers for Disease Control. It is the first study in the world to show that child maltreatment can be prevented at a community or county level. Other studies had already shown that the strategy prevented ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorders.
Offering parenting supports to any and all families—as little or as much as they want—does prevent child maltreatment at a population level (i.e., for whole communities, counties or states). This is not making every parent attend an 18-week parenting course; rather its offering mostly brief parenting supports (15 to 30 minutes, typically) to parents to resolve common problems like getting your child to bed, to do their chores, to get ready for school, to do their homework, not have melt-downs in Walmart or the grocery store, etc. These are basically kernels of support, with each brief intervention strategy with a robust body of scientific research.
You can see a 10-minute professional produced video about this population level study funded by the US Centers for Disease Control at http://slidesha.re/triplepvideo . The video has interviews and easy to understand results.
Since this is a population level study, it is easy to calculate what it might do for your state. The estimator shown in the video can be downloaded here http://bit.ly/triplepest . Remember to use (it’s in flash), you must open the file directly from your Web Browser (e.g., Firefox, Explorer or Safari) AFTER you have downloaded the file.
Just 10 days ago, I came back from an international conference where this parenting support system was the focus of attention. More than 28 countries were represented, and some countries have this universally accessible to all their parents. Their economies and kids are doing better than ours.
Do you suppose that if we nurtured parents for the approximate cost of $15 per child that they would in turn nurture their children better? Do you suppose if children were more nurtured in America that our health-care system, our prisons, and our schools wouldn’t be so broken and costly? You’d be right. That’s what all the data show.
If we don’t nurture all our children’s futures, then there will be no future we hope for.