30 Sep 2015

Impact of Parental Worry

Impact of Parental Worry

Do American parents worry about preparing their children for success in school to much?  The Huffington Post published “American Parenting and the Culture of Worry” and is a good look into the impact of parental worry about preparing children for cognitive and emotional readiness.

So why do American parents place such an importance on preparing their children and what impact does, or should, the state of parental worry have on our society?

To address this question we must understand the current roles and expectations of our school system.  Over the years school systems have pushed cognitive and emotional readiness expectations to younger ages..  This may or may not be driven by emotional and cognitive development research.  It could also be a response to increasing graduation readiness adjusted to an ever changing post-secondary and workforce changes.

In most schools across the country a child entering kindergarten is expected to have a solid pre-literacy skill base where in the past this was the focus of kindergarten.  The expectations continue to be pushed to younger grades each year after.  Another example is the expectation for completion of Algebra 1 by the time a student enters 9th grade where in the past this was the math course taken by most entering high school students.

Where does the parental fear come from?  It could be a manifestation of the changes to the scope and sequence of courses in schools.  There is also a very present societal perception of preparing our children to have every competitive advantage possible which is understandable but what long-term impact will the heightened impact of parental worry have on our society?



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