American parents soon could have “equal partners” in parenting — the federal government – and be faced with home visits, too.
That’s according to a draft policy statement from two federal departments that are full of Obama appointees: the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services.
“It is the position of the Departments that all early childhood programs and schools recognize families as equal partners in improving children’s development, learning and wellness across all settings, and over the course of their children’s developmental and educational experiences,” the statement says.
The draft document is titled “DRAFT POLICY STATEMENT ON FAMILY ENGAGEMENT FROM THE EARLY YEARS TO THE EARLY GRADES.”
Increased Government Involvement in Family Life
The draft policy outlined in the document reads like a blueprint for increased government involvement in family life. It list a number of goals that could increase official interference in childrearing if implemented, including home visits.
“To support ongoing relationship building with families, programs and schools should conduct periodic home visits so that teachers and families can get to know each other and communicate about children’s ’goals, strengths, challenges, and progress,” the draft reads. “If home visits are not possible for all families, schools or programs should require that teachers or providers and families communicate at the beginning of the year to ensure that the relationship is started in a positive way.”
Under the policies, teachers and school officials would be encouraged to become more involved in the family life of children.
Some of the goals in the document seem harmless, such as encouraging parents to read to kids and promoting early learning activities at home. Others are more bothersome, though. The document seems to encourage authorities to evaluate parents’ mental health.
“Parental health and mental health impact parenting and children’s outcomes. For example, parental depression may contribute to less responsive parenting and is associated with anxiety and depression in children.”
‘Big Brother Is In Charge Of Raising Your Childen’
Does that mean parents or perspective parents would be urged to submit to counseling or psychiatric care? A later passage seems to say just that:
“It is much more difficult to engage in children’s learning if a family’s basic needs are not met. This research indicates that the institutions where children learn cannot ignore family wellness if they want to meaningfully engage families and fulfill their mission to prepare children for school and academic success. While some of these needs may be met in schools and early childhood programs through onsite comprehensive services, others can be met through partnerships with organizations and specialists in the community. Meeting families where they are, promoting their wellness alongside their children’s through connections to community resources, and partnering with them on their children’s learning and development, will result in optimal outcomes for children.”
The New American criticized the document, saying it is full of assumptions that many parents would strongly oppose – even if it is surrounded by innocent-sounding language.
“At first glance, the Obama administration policy document appears to be merely about ‘engaging families’ in the raising of their own children,” Alex Newman of The New American wrote. “… What it implies, though, is that Big Brother is also going to play the role of ‘advocate’ and ‘nurturer’ to your children. Perhaps Big Brother can provide hugs and bed-time stories soon, too.
Newman continued: “[T]hroughout the document, it becomes brazenly clear that federal bureaucrats are starting from the false assumption that Big Brother is in charge of raising children, and that parents may be called upon to help out as ‘partners.’ It also purports to provide justification for governments to pry into every aspect of family life — an extraordinarily dangerous proposition that is a hallmark of totalitarian governments. The mindset evidenced throughout the document is beyond paternalistic and condescending to parents.”
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