Health Care reform is often one of the primary subjects of any presidential election in which America closely watches to see if the new President will actually follow through. President Obama is no different. He is adamant about making sure that every American has access to quality health care and he has outlined a plan that inlcudes, but is not limited to, expanding health care coverage, promoting scientific and technological advancements and improving health care PREVENTION!
Prevention is a word we often hear in health care education campaigns; ranging from teenage pregnancy to heart disease. There are tons of campaigns educating us on how to prevent bad things from happening, right?? When it comes to marriage and divorce, however, there is not only little education on how to prevent divorce or what it takes to build a solid marriage, but there are very few resources to help couples who find themselves in that situation. Marriage counseling or stepfamily counseling is often not covered by insurance; making it extremely difficult for couples to get the help they need to stay together.
According to the Census Bureau report on marital status, the U.S. has the highest divorce rate and highest rate of single parenting in the world. Over 50% of all marriages end in divorce and remarriage has an even higher rate of divorce. With most of these marriages/divorces there are children involved and they are the ones who suffer the most. WE NEED A MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE CARE REFORM!
In the government’s quest to educate, prevent and reform everything else they need to realize that healthy families play an important role in that prevention. Don’t you think teenage pregnancy would decrease if we focused on keeping that young girl’s family together? What about our teenage suicide rate, drug and alcohol use and high school drop out rate? Wouldn’t those decline if mom and dad stayed together? Statistics prove that kids of divorce are at higher risk of the above-mentioned. So wouldn’t it make more sense to focus on teaching young couples how to maintain successful marriages in order to prevent divorce? We desperately need a divorce prevention campaign!
In many cases, there are couples who should’ve never been married in the first place, but it was easy for them to do so. My husband married his ex-wife at barely 21 years old, after only knowing her for a few months because he got her pregnant. Of course, after less than three years, that marriage ended in divorce, which was very hard and expensive to obtain. SO WHY WAS IT SO EASY FOR THEM TO GET MARRIED IN THE FIRST PLACE?? We need to demand and require extensive pre-marital counseling for any couple who wants to get married. It shouldn’t be as easy as going to the Justice of Peace and walking out the same day married. Couples need to be educated on the responsibility of marriage, and if they don’t want to take the time to take pre-marital courses, then they shouldn’t be allowed to get married. Those classes should prepare that couple for marriage and should include topics on everything from sex to finances – the two biggest reasons that couples divorce!
The above-mentioned may work for those couples who aren’t yet married, but what about the couples who are already remarried? Those couples need to be educated on divorce prevention as 2 out of every 3 remarriages end in divorce. Additionally, all couples interested in remarriage in which there are children involved, should be required to take blended family courses prior to remarrying AND they should be assigned a blended family counselor or coach to be available to them for encouragement and support.
Last but not least, we are all aware that when you leave the hospital after having a baby, they may give you some formula, post-pregnancy care instructions and a little blanket, but what they don’t give you is a handbook. As such, I think parents should be required to take parenting classes before the baby’s arrival.
If we spent as much time on the education, prevention and creation of healthy families as we do everything else, I am sure that our divorce rate, among other things, would take a nose dive. And so, I am creating a proposal for a new Healthy Families Reform Plan and it is my goal to take it all the way to Washington. As stated earlier, there are many campaigns involving the children of America, from education to teenage pregnancy, and healthy families play an essential role in the prevention of those things. As a result, we need to put more effort into the education and awareness of creating and saving healthy families.