Quality childrearing should be adopted by parents in United States
A recent trial sought to determine whether a baby-sitter's actions had caused the death of the young child in her care.

The trial is over, and while a judge decides whether any appeals are in order, it is time for Americans to examine the way they are raising (or rather not raising) the next generation.

It has become far too acceptable for parents to contract out the upbringing of their children. This is not only potentially dangerous, but it neglects the child.

In the past several years, it has become not only more acceptable, but almost expected for both parents to work and find someone else to take care of their youngsters. In many metropolitan areas it is common to find children who are delivered to a day care before seven o'clock in the morning and picked up after eight o'clock at night.

Many parents have completely abdicated their responsibilities as the primary care-givers for their offspring. Many children are raised in households where both parents work. While a single parent has few options, and some families seem to need an additional income, many families could live quite well even if a parent stayed at home to rear the children.

The prevalence of two-income families demonstrates how priorities have shifted from raising young people to improving one's own standard of living. While there is nothing wrong with being well off, there are countless priorities which are more important.

A public school takes care of certain aspects of a young person's education, but the trend of external child care assigns a child's education and upbringing to someone outside of the family. These parents neglect their responsibilities toward their children.

Fathers have lately visibly ignored their responsibilities toward their children. Popular television from Murphy Brown to Frasier has depicted fathers who take no active role in the development of their own babies.

These new attitudes treat children and their education as unimportant.

The effects of this flippancy toward children are far-reaching. Many people will recall the story of a young lady who gave birth in the restroom at a dance, then allegedly murdered the child. Winston Churchill was also born in the ladies' room at a dance, but survived the ordeal thanks, in part, to different moral standards of the age.

It is time for parents to begin parenting again. Children need constant care and attention to grow to their full potential. Very few people can effectively raise a child by long distance.

The decision to raise a child is a long-term commitment. Parental responsibilities do not end after nine months.

Americans have become more self-centered in recent years. They are often concerned more with their convenience than the development of the next generation. This is short-sided and selfish.

Older generations of Americans took their roles and parents very seriously. This was reflected again at the dedication of the Bush Library when President Bush said the most important titles he ever held were husband, father and grandfather. Baby boomers do not seem to demonstrate the same level of concern.

The death of a child entrusted to a baby-sitter is tragic. More tragic is the army of latchkey children who have not had a parent truly invest in their upbringing. If children are given this example of parenting, consider the model they will follow with their own children.

Americans should reclaim responsible roles and begin raising families again.

Dave Johnston is a senior mathematics major.