The place where people without degrees in education, psychology, or anything like that are entrusted with the care of children is in parenting. Understandably, criticizing parenting, itself, will come as offensive to many parents. Yet, there are pandemic levels of mental conditions resulting from various types and degrees of abuse and one of the most common factors is the fact that people without the scientific background to have children end up controlling the majority of aspects of a child’s life combined with the fact that there are very few checks on their power within the confines of their house. As sentimentally as our culture romanticizes the institution, the pervasiveness of abuse is so much it can not be called the exception to the rule but a rule. When given near-absolute power over another human’s life almost to the degree of a slave-master then that power is too tempting of a drug for a significant portion of the society to resist.
Even putting aside abuse from corporal punishment and pedophilia, the more positive aspects of child-rearing may be absent, as well. There are lots of children who grow and grew up without out the feeling of being loved (since my parents are alive and this is public, I have lots of things to say that I won’t). Love is such a vague and ambiguous word that lots of people who aren’t doing it can claim they’re doing it. This is of even more importance given the much greater importance of the nuclear family in the atomized society we live in where neighbors and extended family are much less influential. This also eliminates some of the checks against abuse since the neighbors and extended family, today, are much less aware of the inside of a house.
This is not to say that levels of the more extreme forms of abuse have not decreased, they have, but to say that some of the checks on abuse had in more integrated communities are absent and if they were reintroduced that they would reduce the levels of abuse even further, especially if combined with education on what constitutes abuse and also what constitutes neglect. In communities of old, they would not have considered spanking abuse but we can prove psychologically that it is and neighbors could intervene in events where such things were occurring. A combination of modern science and tighter communities would lead to a lessening of the near-absolute power a parent has over their child and would enforce modern, scientific, child-rearing methods.
Still, parenting would be better served if a significant portion of it were transferred to community day cares. It’s something that was done in classic Kibbutzes in Israel and in some hippie communes. Just to have the children reside with collectively employed governesses or male babysitters who, presumably, have more scientific training. This would not be sending them to a boarding school or separate them by long distances from their parents. It would merely have the children live a few blocks away under the guidance of people who went to college to know how to raise children. Yes, that sounds uncouth because it is a common saying that parents’ know best but they don’t actually study developmental psychology or education science so that is objectively untrue.
I’m not saying there aren’t good parents but that there are so many bad ones that systemic and mass solutions are needed. Except in cases of acute and the most extreme abuse, nothing legal can be done and, even in legally chargeable cases, the abusive parties also often happen to be breadwinners for their household and have financial power to keep their victims in. The levels of abuse are so frighteningly high that parenting itself has to fundamentally shift to be less insular and nuclear-family based and more science and community-based.