Has the full responsibility for child guidance shifted from parents to early childhood professionals? why or why not?

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One issue in the teaching field is that too many responsibilities have been shifted from students and parents, and then placed onto the teacher. From what I can see, the grade level doesn't matter. The tone of education reform puts all of the burden on teachers. There are too many factors beyond a teacher's control: the child's nutrition, attendance, sleep patterns, and many other home life factors. But, a teacher is expected to get all students on the same level without these circumstances ever being considered. Education reform mentions nothing about what students and parents should do; excepthow they should continue to evaluate and recognize the teacher's shortcomings.

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Certainly the family is a microcosm of the society.  In America, there is a growing number of citizens who want Big Brother government to control their lives.  Having the bureaucracy of school caring for the children is part of the people's voluntary relinquishments of their personal freedoms and responsibilities.  How much easier is it to burden the development of children to their teachers?

All that is needed is to look again at those children in little brown uniforms, taken from their parents so that they could learn to march in the Germany of the 1940s 

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I don't think FULL responsibility has shifted from parents to teachers, but a lot of responsibilities have. Make no mistake, teachers have always had some responsibility in child rearing. Parents used to raise their children too, however. It was a real eye opener for me in my first year of teaching, when I was 20 years old, and parents asked me what to do when I brought them in to talk to them about their child.
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As a teacher, I have to agree with this to some degree. I think the biggest reason for the change in responsibility over the past three or four decades is the fact that many more mothers are now employed, and they no longer have as much time as the housewives of old who were rarely away from their children when they weren't in school. Many more families are now single-parent than before, leaving another void when it comes to nurturing many young children.

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As a parent, I would like to say "no". As a teacher, I must say "yes". There are many reasons for this, two of the most popular being: parents are too busy; and parents simply do not care any more.

I can stand proud and say that I did raise my children- not leaving it in the hands of early childhood (as competent as many are).  

I have to say the thing I hate hearing most is, "What is wrong with the kids today?"

My answer? There is nothing wrong with the kids today. It is the fault of the parents- the kids do not know any better.

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I think it really varies.  There are certainly parents who do not seem to care (or do not know how to care) about their kids' development.  On the other hand, though, there are so many parents who feel like they have to micromanage everything about their kids' lives.

I wonder if this all comes from the prevalence of the idea that there is a science to raising children.  Because we are told that there is a right way to raise kids, we react in one of two ways.  If we think we are capable, we try to control our kids' lives to make sure they are raised right.  If we don't think we're capable, we give up and leave it to those who (we are told) are experts.

Just a thought...

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This needs to be changed to the Teachers Discussion Forum! You will get many passionate responses, I am sure!

My personal response to your question would be that no, full responsibility for child guidance has not shifted from parents to early childhood professionals. My qualification to that response would be that the level of responsibility assumed by any given parent always has and always will vary from complete apathy toward the child to what is currently called the "helicopter parent" who is overly protective.

There certainly is a perception that more parents are not as involved in making themselves a part of their childrens' upbringing as would have been the case in years past. Personally, I fear there is validity to this perception and I don't like the societal changes that I see behind it in terms of impact on families and children. However, there do seem to be some instances where children may be better served by early childhood professionals than by individuals who don't have appropriate parenting skills. As educators, we struggle with the students who come to us from those kinds of backgrounds.

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Parents remain the single most important influence on their children, for better and for worse. As the adults vested with legal and moral responsibility for the raising of their children, parents have a formidable task in shaping the character of their offspring. Sadly, too many parents are simply not up to that task, but it would be wrong to suggest that the responsibility has shifted from them to early childhood professionals, most prominently preschool, kindergarten and elementary school teachers and coaches. Except for those parents who concede an inability or unwillingness to parent their children, placing them up for adoption instead or allowing for the introduction of foster parents, and those who refuse to concede such a situation but away from whom the decision is taken by the courts, parents are the principle role models for their children, teaching them right-from-wrong and how to function at home and away. Responsible parents read to their children starting at a very early age, and instruct them in object and color recognition, introduce their children to nature, and teach them how to act. Not only has "full responsibility" for child guidance not shifted toward professionals, but partial responsibility has not shifted, either. The role of parenting remains as primal and important as ever, and no amount of arrogance on the part of so-called professionals can change that. 

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