All posts tagged: St. Louis’s social-work school

Why Don’t We Teach People How to Parent?

Why Don’t We Teach People How to Parent?

There are just some things you don’t do without preparation. You’re not meant to drive a car without taking lessons and passing a test. You aren’t supposed to scuba dive without certification. You can’t teach—or practice law, or therapy, or cosmetology—without first proving your knowledge. But you can become a parent without any training at all—and that’s a pretty high-stakes position. Parents today arguably face steeper expectations than ever before. Over the past half century or so, “intensive parenting” has become the norm in the United States: Child care, for many families, has turned into an all-consuming and hyper-expensive affair, not about just nurturing kids but cultivating them, with tutors and ballet and piano lessons. (Not every parent can afford to meet those standards, but even so, the majority aspire to them.) Advice books proliferate; TikTok influencers preach the benefits of different “parenting styles”; moms and dads now spend significantly more time with their kids than they did in the 1960s. But they aren’t necessarily better equipped for the job. The ways that people used …