The United States Needs a National Organization
to Value Parenthood and
to Politically Represent All of Our Parents
We no longer can afford to ignore the primary cause of our nation’s inter-generational poverty, crime and welfare dependency: struggling families.
United Nations statistician Howard Friedman has carefully documented the declining international status of the United States in his book The Measure of a Nation: How to Regain America’s Competitive Edge and Boost Our Global Standing. He bases this on the following facts:
• Americans have the lowest life expectancy among all competitor nations.
• Americans are at least two times more likely to be murdered and four times more likely to be incarcerated than any other competitor country.
• The United States shows the greatest disparity between rich and poor among all competitor nations.
• The United States is at the top of the list of competitor nations for child abuse and neglect and at the bottom for academic achievement.
Fully one-third of our children and adolescents are not doing well. Over 11 million have been seriously damaged by neglect and/or abuse. Twenty-three percent of our state and forty-five percent of our county expenditures are devoted to struggling families and their adult progeny. The immaturity, school failures, addictions, crime and welfare dependency that underlie this burden for all of us are largely preventable if we simply would do one thing: ensure that all newborns have competent parents.
From the point of view of our economic well-being, the unpaid career of parenthood is more important than paid jobs:
1) Without parenthood, we won’t have citizens;
2) Without competent parents, we won’t have competent citizens and workers; and
3) Without competent citizens and workers, our economy won’t prosper.
Incredibly, we presume that anyone who conceives a child is capable of raising that child and automatically award them full parental rights regardless of their ability to raise the child until that child is seriously damaged by neglect and/or abuse. We equate the human right to procreate with parental rights. We do little to prepare individuals for the most important role in our society. We have no standards or guidelines for parenthood except for people who want to adopt children…and pets. Wisconsin Cares, Inc., proposes that a Parenthood Pledge be inserted in the birth certificate application to formally award parental rights (the legal and physical custody of a child) to a parent for a newborn baby. Signing the Pledge would award parental rights to anyone who is not under the custody of another person or the state. Minors or adults in the latter category would receive Parenthood Planning Counseling when they make the decision to continue the pregnancy to childbirth. If relatives are willing and able to assume custody of the newborn child, they would cosign the Pledge and assume temporary or permanent parental rights. If such persons are not available, a court monitored adoption plan would be made for the newborn child at birth.
This blog is dedicated to bringing together parents, grandparents, professionals and other citizens with an interest in making our nation aware of the fact that parenthood is its foundation. It especially welcomes those who see the need for creating an organization of parents similar to the American Association of Retired Persons…an “American Association of Parents”.
The background for this blog is Parent Power: The Key to America’s Prosperity.