On April 27, 2011The Wall Street Journal Online ran a piece titled, "So Cute, So Hard on a Marriage" by Andrea Petersen, about how after having a baby, men and women are unhappy in different ways and how there is a need to push for pre-emptive steps to address this. Prevent Child Abuse America applauds this article, has some additional thoughts on these "pre-emptive steps" and we want to share our response.
May 4, 2011
To the editor,
Your recent article “So Cute, So Hard on a Marriage,” presented a realistic overview of the stressors of parenting and how couples’ happiness can be impacted after the birth of a baby. Your focus on “pre-emptive” or prevention strategies for minimizing the stress and confusion parents of newborns can encounter also is refreshing.
As you indicate, there are a variety of innovative services available in communities across the country to support parents that deserve recognition and additional expansion by policymakers. Supporting parents of newborns is like building a house. Building a house is a step-by-step process beginning with a strong foundation. Just like a house, a strong foundation in children’s early years increases the probability of positive outcomes for those children and their parents. A weak foundation increases the odds of later difficulties.
Programs like you reference, as well as, home visiting programs such as Healthy Families America, and six other federally recognized evidence based programs, are designed to build that strong foundation by connecting families with community support and resources to help create positive environments for young children. When that strong foundation is built, children are able to develop their cognitive, social and emotional capacities, which all work together to create positive outcomes.
And these programs are a great return on investment: When we compare the effectiveness of home visiting programs with other intervention programs for families, the benefits far outweigh the initial investment. Investing in children and their families just makes sense. Supporting parents is the right thing to do. And we can all play a role in ensuring these things happen. Because it is less costly to invest in individuals and society now, than fix things later.
James M. Hmurovich, President & CEO