My friend Kari Diane Pike from ANWA wrote a letter to the editor of Time Magazine that I feel fits the purposes of my blog. She gave me permission to publish it here. I have added links to items of interest.
Your March 15, 2010 Postcard: Paris, by Vivienne Walt, snapped up my attention with the subheading “Is proper nutrition best left to the state?” While I felt relieved to see that the author’s feelings about this issue seem to agree with my own, I couldn’t help but cringe at the implications of this world-wide trend of parents relinquishing the God-given stewardship of raising their children to government entities.
Historically, the advent of the industrial revolution brought about many social and economic changes. Many of those changes have contributed significantly to a longer and higher quality of life for much of the world. Even with all these changes, the majority of young children remained in the care of their mothers or other family members. But recent history has shown a dramatic change taking place. Now, the Census Bureau reports that preschoolers spend more than 35 hours per week in day care centers and the percentage of families with one parent staying home during the day with a child has dropped from 69.7 percent to 16.9 percent. President Obama is encouraging all women to enter the work force and many states are suggesting legislation for mandatory preschool under the guise of being concerned about the drop in scholastic achievement in math, reading and science.
According to Ann B. and Richard Barnet, “…the development of children’s intellect is inseparable from their emotional and moral development. A child’s emotions are the filters through which knowledge is acquired and integrated.” For healthy emotional development, children need strong relationships with parents who know them and care about them as no one else can. They need more than regular meals. They need love. It is in the home with father and mother that children learn best about entering society as kind, compassionate, and responsible citizens. It is the duty of parents to raise their children in love and to teach them right from wrong. It is the duty of parents to teach their children to love each other and to serve each other and the people around them. It is the duty of parents to teach their children to observe God’s commandments and to obey the laws of the land in which they live. If we as parents continue to give up our autonomy to “professional child care experts” we will continue to lose our confidence in our role as educators for our own children and the value of “parenting” will continue to decrease. It’s time for adults to recognize that sometimes responsibilities need to come before individual rights. In fact, if men and women would recognize and accept their responsibility for their children, everyone, including the larger society as a whole, would benefit.
Neal A. Maxwell once said, “The family is still the most efficient means for producing human happiness and human goodness.” In this time of economic and social struggle, I believe that the answers are, and always have been, right in our own homes and not in the mess that we call government.”