What about Birth Control?

One University of Minnesota study that began in the 1970s followed 267 children of first-time low-income mothers for nearly four decades. It found that whether a child received supportive parenting in the first few years of life was at least as good a predictor as I.Q. of whether he or she would graduate from high school… Yet the cycle can be broken, and the implication is that the most cost-effective way to address poverty isn’t necessarily housing vouchers or welfare initiatives or prison-building. Rather, it may be early childhood education and parenting programs.

Kristof’s entire editorial in the NYT.

Comments (11)

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  1. Cindy says:

    The title of this article is confusing — is this advocating for parenting classes and early-childhood education or for birth control?

    Also, if this is true what’s the funding mechanism (for either)?

  2. Jackson says:

    I agree with Cindy.. Im assuming the title is reffering to less of an emphasis on birth control, and more of an emphasis on parenting?

    – either way, I dont believe it takes a rocket scientist to understand that the more positive attention a child receives from the mother in the early stages of development, the “better” the child will be able to handle life crisis.

  3. Charlotte says:

    I believe what the title means is that if you are not ready to give your children the attention they need as kids and be a supportive parent, then perhaps you should stick to birth control and avoid having a family just yet. You can’t offer your children a cost-effective (according to this article), supportive relationship to help them succeed as they grow up? Then don’t have kids yet. That’s my understanding of where this post is headed. Although I could be wrong.

  4. Cindy says:

    I think all of those statements make sense. It’s definitely true that those who don’t feel ready to be parents should opt for birth control. I think the statistical reality is startling. Everyone should have a fair shot in life, and some kids aren’t getting one.

  5. Ashley says:

    Grooming (good parenting) actually leads to neurological changes. Very interesting!

  6. Devon Herrick says:

    Attentive parenting and early childhood education can make a huge difference. But I don’t think it’s something that a social worker can accomplish. Parents need to be engaged in child rearing and help their kids’ with homework. I don’t believe housing vouchers, food stamps, subsidized pro-school and welfare programs will make much of a difference if parents are not engaged. It requires more than just reducing some of the stressors (like housing, income and food). Parents must take the time and invest in their kids, set a good example and hold high expectations for their kids’ progress.

  7. Jordan says:

    Devon, wouldn’t reducing some of the stressors give the parents more time to engage their children? That being said, it doesn’t mean that they will.

    I have two friends receiving food stamps. One works and goes to school full time, and still can’t feed herself. The other doesn’t have a job at all. Guess which one receives more in transfer payments every month.

    Cultivating any form of entitlement is terrible for children. But, again, I suppose that all goes back to the parents.

  8. Robert says:

    I think birth control is a great idea for many!

  9. Paul says:

    Typical modern thinking: give people pills to solve the problem rather than actually expecting people to be decent human beings and help one another.

  10. seyyed says:

    while it seems worthwhile for the government to providing funding for parent programs early childhood education, i don’t think the government can/should scrap other welfare programs because those help people too

  11. jesica says:

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