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Should Adults Have to Take Parenting Classes?

Attendees showing hands at a seminar
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

We need licenses to drive, drink and vote. Soon, adults in Louisiana could have to add another thing to that list: having kids. Louisiana State Representative and executive chair of the Louisiana Family Preservation Study Group, Regina Barrow, believes that men and women should have to attend mandatory parenting classes, and become certified, much like a driver's education course, before they can have a baby. While, to us, this sounds like something out of a weird sci-fi movie, Barrow is considering bringing a bill to the House floor during its next session.

The classes would be especially helpful, Barrow says, for first-time parents and teen parents.

We remember driver's education ... barely. Sure, we may have retained a few facts in class (how far, exactly should we leave between cars?), but wasn't it the actual practice, getting on the road and driving that helped us become better drivers?

Many parents will say that once the baby comes, your parenting instincts kick in and you can handle a lot of what's thrown at you. We can't imagine that a class telling us how to get through a week without sleep will actually make it any easier when the time actually comes. (What would they dodeprive us of rest to test how well we could handle our workload the next day?) What do you think—would you take a parenting class?

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