On Parents & Children

The Coolidge family walked home from church services, Plymouth Notch. Photo credit: Leslie Jones Collection.

There are too many indications that the functions of parenthood are breaking down. Too many people are neglecting the real well-being of their children, shifting the responsibility for their actions, and turning over supervision of their discipline and conduct to the juvenile courts. It is stated on high authority that a very large proportion of the outcasts and criminals come from the ranks of those who lost the advantages of normal parental control in their youth. They are the refugees from broken homes who were denied the necessary benefits of parental love and direction. The home is the corner stone of the Nation, and any effective better-homes movement must begin with the training of the youth for those responsibilities, or we shall see the disposition to attempt in some way to turn over to the Government the responsibilities for the rearing of children constantly increased. What the youth of the country need is not more public control through Government action, but more home control through parental action.

—Calvin Coolidge, “Speech to the Convention of the Young Men’s Christian Association,” 1925.

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