Jack Westman, M.D., M.S., develops public policies that give every child the chance to become a productive citizen. During decades as a psychiatrist and professor, he has maintained a focus on strengthening families. Currently he is a lobbyist with Wisconsin state government and is bringing the Parenthood Pledge to life through Wisconsin Cares, Inc., an interdisciplinary organization dedicated to promoting family friendly public policies. He has been the president of the American Association of Psychiatric Services for Children, the Multidisciplinary Academy of Clinical Education., and the Wisconsin Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He is the author of eleven books, including A Complete Idiot’s Guide to Child and Adolescent Psychology, Breaking the Adolescent Parent Cycle: Valuing Fatherhood and Motherhood, Parenthood in America: Undervalued, Underpaid, and Under Siege, Licensing Parents and Handbook of Learning Disabilities. He has made numerous radio and TV appearances, including ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS’s In Focus, Bloomberg Business Network, Geraldo and Canadian TV Network, and he has appeared on national and international talk radio shows including NPR’s Talk of the Nation and BBC Domestic.
I gradually realized as a psychiatrist and volunteer lobbyist with state and federal governments that we live in a juvenile ageist society. We readily deplore prejudice based on age against the elderly while we ignore prejudice based on age against our even more helpless and unrepresented children. We deprive millions of young people of opportunities to become productive citizens as we say we are devoted to them. We can overcome this hidden discrimination by first accepting its existence then by ensuring that all newborn babies have competent parents. We need to empower parents to more effectively represent the interests of our nation children…the next generation. To this end I wrote the book Parent Power: The Key to Our Nation’s Prosperity available on www.amazon.com.