My name is David Dooley. I'm an elementary school teacher in Bakersfield, CA.
I'm an advocate of community-based parenting education for young people...that is young people, kids, being taught best parenting behaviors and practices in an effort to prepare them for the responsibilities of parenthood. I believe parenting education for young people could be a tremendously powerful and proactive means for preventing child abuse, substance abuse, and other forms of violence.
I feel strongly about teaching kids how to parent because preparation for adulthood is the reason we educate children, and parenting is by far the most important job they’ll have as adults. Additionally, often parents don't realize they have poor parenting skills, may not be motivated to change their behavior, face serious psychological and practical obstacles, and have already damaged their children.
I was thinking the education could take the form of both free and paid, permanent yet evolving, public service messages on radio, television, billboards, print, products, and the internet designed to teach young people how to engage in parenting behaviors and practices generally recognized as supporting the healthy physical, emotional, and intellectual development of children, and reject parenting behaviors and practices generally recognized as disrupting the healthy development of children. I can envision appealing school age spokespersons delivering these messages.
Does this idea have merit? If it does, how can I turn my dream into reality?