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Parenting Skills Required PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michelle Chisolm   
Saturday, 25 August 2007

Hello Ward 6!  For your information, part of my service on Tommy's staff involves providing assistance and input on educational issues.  If you attended our Educational Town Hall Meeting at Maury ES last week, you might have heard me comment on parenting skills and its role in developing academic success in children.

Well, the gist of what I was saying was that I believe parenting skills should be offered to parents as part of the improved school community's outfit to help parents help their children become positive and productive people.  I said this because many of our parents have failed in their leadership role in modeling positive examples of good moral character and demonstrating respect for authority.  Cases representative of this fact is evident in the junior and high school dropout rate; the level of parent/child conflict in the home; juvenile crime; juvenile behavioral issues; and the rate of juveniles in the penal system.  The first and most important principle parents must instill in their children is that of respect for authority.  

For me personally, there is a piece of scripture from Proverb 22:6 that I like that says the parental role is to "train up a child in the way he shall go, and when he is old, he shall not depart from it." In other words, a child trained and taught to obey the instruction of his/her parents will more likely obey the instruction and order of his/her teachers and principals (and also future employers and the law of the land).

I think everyone knows or observes a parent who has raised a child without instilling this principle, and unfortunately, it more often than not leads self destructive behavior in that youth. In our communities, too often a parent needs the help and skills to instill a stronger foundation for that youth to succeed in school, as well as life.

What to you think?  Do you think that parenting skills should be incorporated into DCPS' improved school community outfit? And do you believe that respect for authority is a fundamental part of childrearing that is missing in today's youth?

Readers have left 3 comments.
(1) Untitled
2007-08-25 16:39:59
Thank you Tommy for talking about an issue that is central to the poor performance of our students. Please do work to develop a program to improve parenting skills.
Written by Guest User ()
(2) Untitled
2007-08-28 10:53:48
While poor parenting skills certainly contribute to a number of the serious social issues to which you allude in your posting, I would offer a word of Constitutional caution. You have submitted to Mr. Wells' constituents a short posting concerning the tax-payer funded, government-run public school system in the District of Columbia and cited as your primary example of what children ought to be taught a passage from the Bible. I think we ought to be sensitive to the Constitutional mandate to maintain a clear separation of church and state at all levels of US government. Our guiding principles -- in education, as well as all other areas -- cannot and should not come from any religious text. Would Muslim students in DC support the use of Proverbs? Sikhs? Mormons? Atheists? Jews?

Positive parenting has absolutely nothing to do with religion.

You say that "many of our parents have failed in their leadership role in modeling positive examples of good moral character" and then cite the Bible? This would be the same Bible used by the Catholic Church nearly decimated by the revelation of over a quarter-century of immoral behavior? The same Bible adhered to by Rep. Mark Foley, Sen. Craig, Pastor Ted Haggard?

Morality isn't based on religion. Moreover, in our constitutional republic, religion has no place in state-run, taxpayer funded education.

Words matter. When you speak on behalf of our elected representative, they matter even more.
(3) Untitled
2007-08-28 12:02:51
Dear Mike,

I appreciate your comment and your thoughts on the appropriateness of Ms. Chisolm's posting. As the Chief of Staff, it is my responsibility to give final approval to all of our staff postings on the website and blog.

I would point out that Ms. Chisolm does make clear in her writing that she is providing her own opinion using such modifiers as "For me personally..." and referring to the citation as something "that I like...".

In addition, there is nothing in her writing that says respect for authority or morality is based on any set of religious beliefs. While I appreciate your perspective and agree whole-heartedly as you state "morality isn't based on religion", I think Ms. Chisolm's post may have been read too much in to if a reader were to come away thinking there was anything more implied by Ms. Chisolm sharing a personal belief.

Again, thank you for your comment and suggestions, and we will always work hard to ensure that the comments and posting by our staff is respectful for all readers.

Charles Allen
Chief of Staff
Councilmember Tommy Wells
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