Give power to the parents! – Twin Cities

2021-05-05 06:05:41 –

We live in diverse countries and people have different tastes about how to live. For example, according to a 2016 Pew Research Center survey, 59% of Americans believed that having one parent at home was better for a child with two parents, while 39% believed that both. I thought that if my parents were working, my children would be fine as well.

So which side was right? Well, obviously neither. It depends on the personality, values ​​and circumstances of each particular family member. Despite what Tolstoy wrote, happy families are actually all happy in their own way.

Our debate about family structure has been poisoned by those who cannot immediately make a difference without making some judgment. Family multiplicity is the source of the country’s strengths, not its weaknesses.

It must be said that people’s view of what an ideal family form is is strongly tied to class status. Working-class and middle-class people tend to prefer the “earner” model, where one parent is at home when the child is under five, as studies by American compass think tank scholars show. There is. .. Families who earn more than $ 150,000 are more likely to admire the “double-earning” model in which their parents work.

An important question is this: What family structure should the government support in a society with such a diverse array of family forms? My answer is “none”.The role of government is to help people build what kind of family, not to teach them what kind of family to build. should prefer. The government must be neutral about what kind of family is best.

President Joe Biden’s American Family Plan has one element that beautifully achieves this by extending child tax credits or children’s allowances. If parents want to use the extra money from their credits to help pay for day care, they can. If they want to use it to reduce working hours and allow them to spend more time at home, they can. Child tax credits help millions of families do what they already want to do in a survey. I have more children than I can afford and spend more time at home.

However, the Biden administration is not completely neutral in terms of family policy. When asked about this on Thursday during a conference call, they mentioned two other social goals. First, get people to work. “We want our parents, especially our mothers, to be in the workforce,” said Susan Rice, head of the National Policy Council. Second, the government wants children in the classroom environment to extend the public school system for two years. The administration is actively expanding childcare subsidies and pre-kindergarten programs.

These are public goals that I can understand, but I wonder about the emphasis. In the first place, direct parental grants can be a powerful tool to help children achieve educational achievements, perhaps to help parents reduce their jobs and develop their children’s social and emotional skills. I will.

Former Brookings Institution Glover J. Whitehurst once said: “As in many other countries, putting money directly into the pockets of low-income parents can significantly improve your child’s school performance per dollar. Participation in a preschool year or headstart. Spending more than. “

Second, when it comes to parenting, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Whether a child is helped or harmed by a professional childcare experience depends largely on the nature of the particular child, the particular care center, and the particular parent. These are situations that only the parents who are there can know, so parents need to be given the utmost power and flexibility to make decisions.

The way to do this is to focus and grow money on direct grants, as W. Bradford Wilcox, a family scholar at the University of Virginia, argues.

“Because the Biden administration is trying to provide everything to everyone,” Wilcox sent me an email. “It partially funds many initiatives, including children’s allowances. Rather, the administration cuts out the money promised for pre-kindergarten and child care and fully funds generous children’s allowances. I want it. “

Finally, I’m worried about all these class politics. In that American compass study, wealthier families favored the expansion of day care, while working-class families overwhelmingly favored direct grants. Prosperous meritors may be eager to regain full-time job satisfaction, but one 2018 study found that only 28% of married mothers work full-time. Said it was ideal. 40% said it would be ideal to work part-time.

We live in an era of great economic and educational inequality, resulting in populist resentment. I’m worried that the upper middle class could lead to a fierce backlash if it appears to be using state power to prioritize parenting preferences.

Over the last few decades, the economy has put a heavy burden on American families, people have fewer children than they want, and spend less time with them. A fully generous child tax credit will give some parents the opportunity to leave the job market for several years while their child is young.

Suddenly there is an opportunity in front of us to dramatically improve American family life.

Give power to the parents! – Twin Cities Source link Give power to the parents! – Twin Cities

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