Saturday, October 29, 2005

Lock up your daughters!

"Since becoming the father of a daughter, I have figured out that sex is evil."
- Tim Bedore

This line was delivered as a joke, of course. However, it makes a strong point about the unusual stress that parents of daughters adopt regarding their welfare before marriage or before the age when they are believed to be capable of looking after themselves in a male dominated world.

Where do fathers (or mothers) learn how to deal with these responsibilities, how to implement a plan to educate their daughters while keeping them safe from preying males? Almost entirely by accident, heresay, rumour and horror stories that they read or hear from others. Or from ultra conservative loudmouths who believe that girls should be locked away and kept ignorant "for their own protection."

The roles and responsibilities of parenthood must be taught in a thorough,coordinated and formal way. The accidental school of management works poorly in business and the accidental school of parenthood fails badly as well.

We need not wonder why we have so many troubled teens and young adults in our communities. We need rather to concern ourselves with how to teach parents how to fulfill the most important functions they will ever have in their lives, that of growing a new generation.

We must teach parenting skills or suffer the consequences by filling our prisons and the offices of psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to make courses in parenting available in every board of education.
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