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Centerpointe Research

Child care

Why Don’t We Reward Good Parents and Responsible Ones?

English: Family of Great Crested Grebes. Two a...

English: Family of Great Crested Grebes. Two adults and two chicks sitting on a parents back. Other parent bringing fish. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am not sure how to fix it; but it seems very unfair.  Two-parent families struggle to care for and raise future responsible adults with good values; but do we reward them, no, we punish them.  Skip out  on supporting your children and/or don’t even claim them and nothing happens usually to a father.  For a mother, there is abortion and welfare and other subsidies and often the more children, the better.  Good families often only have as many children as they can afford unless there is a birth control failure and then they love and care for them  and usually forget that they weren’t planned. Taxes penalize people for being married.  If you are married filing jointly, you are penalized. Two-parent families have to choose between having two incomes and not getting ahead because of paying for childcare or having one income and having one parent staying home to take care of the responsibilities there (and that is becoming impossible as, because of the new healthcare law, companies are cutting insurance coverage for spouses).  Job sharing is still not widely prevalent and part time jobs usually don’t have benefits or good wages.

What do we encourage?  If a parent has difficulty caring for a child because of drugs, alcohol, or lifestyle or lack of ability to parent (and there is no capable family member who can step in and do the job), who steps in and cares for the children that are being neglected and then gives them back often without out any permanent change in behavior by the parent?  There are parents out there who could use food stamps, help with energy and housing costs, and childcare subsidies and are not able to even think of saving for their future.  Also these families (and I include the families on welfare that have the same problems and desires) don’t have the benefits of charter schools or being able to pay for private schools when their children are in schools in dangerous areas where children often don’t get a basic education, let alone a quality one.  Don’t think that the poor, illiterate, and disadvantaged shouldn’t get any help; but is it doing any good and who gets the most support?

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Children as Experimental Subjects

BERLIN, GERMANY - AUGUST 22:  Day care workers...

At one point in time there were experimental studies in psychology where children were viewed as subjects.  Theories of child development were based on these.   Children need to be observed in their own environments, not in sterile laboratory rooms with strangers.  A lot of what children do is based on where they are and whom they are with.  When children are comfortable with their surroundings and the people there, their typical behavior is more likely to appear.  They must feel safe and secure before they start to explore and interact with each other or adults.  Also for young children, most child care environments contain kids of the same or close to the same age and  familiar adult females, usually not males.

It was said once upon a time that babies or young toddlers engaged in solitary play and did not get involved  in interactive play with other children.  If you observe children like these in their homes, at a close relative’s house where they often come to play, or in their accustomed daycare setting with familiar same age playmates, they will usually get involved in play with each other that seems to follow certain rules and also have reciprocal behaviors .   Also you, yourself, or the observer must not be a stranger to the children.  This makes it difficult to conduct scientific studies with an impartial observer in a controlled environment.  As a partial observer of my grandchildren in a familiar environment where they are playing with children they  play with all the time, I have seen interactive play among children as young as one year  and eighteen months of age.   In fact, all three when together usually play in the same place {no matter how much room they have to play in) and  with the same things (no matter how much they have to play with).  One child does something and the other children do it too. Sometimes there seems to be a pattern of behavior.

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