As a parent, you have a pivotal role to play in shaping a culture of partnership. In the Partnership System, we recognize that the early years of life are critical not only to the quality of our children?s lives but also to the kind of society we all live in.
Neuroscience shows that more than 1 million new neural connections are formed every second by infants and toddlers in the first three years of life! ?We know, too, that relationships with a child?s primary caregivers are decisive in determining the type and quality of these connections. ?Caring and connected parent/child relationships are major factors in shaping how we relate to the world, including our capacity to empathize, learn, imagine, and create.
This means that the quality of parenting we support as a society directly affects our economy and our democracy.
Parenting and Our Economy:
- Domination-style parenting causes childhood stresses that, over a life-span, often lead to behavioral, cognitive, emotional, and physical health issues that are enormously costly.
- Domination-style parenting has been linked to violence, as children act out the dynamics of abuse and power-over that are normalized in domination system families. As a society, we pay dearly for this violence.
- Children raised in domination-system families are not well-prepared to take on the kinds of jobs available in our 21st century economy. In the age of robotics and AI, the jobs that fuel our economy require uniquely human capacities: care and empathy, creativity, teamwork,
and appreciation for diversity.
- Studies demonstrate that up-front investments in high-quality early childhood experiences ? parental leave, parenting education, and other supports for the women and men who care for children ? pay huge dividends over time.
Parenting and Our Democracy:
- Studies show that early childhood experiences and observations strongly affect the kinds of citizens we become and the kinds of leaders we prefer.
- Brains shaped by domination-parenting tend to prefer authoritarian leaders who wield power over others in the hierarchical and fear-based ways they became accustomed to in childhood.
- By contrast, brains shaped by partnership parenting are more drawn to leaders who empower others and who champion peace, justice, and other conditions that enable people to develop fully and contribute to the common good.
- Healthy democracy requires citizens with the capacity to empathize with others, to see issues from more than one angle, and to conceptualize relationships of interdependence and mutuality. These are the capacities fostered through partnership parenting.
Make the economic and political case for investment in parents and early childhood:
Download the Caring and Connected Parenting Guide, published by the Center for Partnership Studies
These webinars, articles and Fast Fact data sheets help all of us make the economic and political case for investment in parents and early childhood:
Webinar: Kate Duva: Power to the Parents, Feb. 2017
Article: Bringing Partnership Home: A Model of Family Transformation by Julie de Azevedo Hanks
Caring Economy Fast Fact Sheet: Children: The Nation?s Best Investment
Caring Economy Fast Fact Sheet: Caring Policies Benefit Fathers