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22 October 2004 @ 08:21 am
If I were Supreme Dictator - Parenting Edition  
Okay, now this one is going to be controversial.
This is all about Jacob, a non-parent, ragging on the parenting abilities of others.
Yes, I'm on my high-horse, but gee the view is nice from up here.

As I stated in the comments to my last post, part of my new dictatorship is the introduction of licenses for those who wish to become parents.
In order to receive your parenting license, you wil need to undertake a number of tests.
This will include:

Psychological testing.
This is to ensure that you are mentally fit to look after a child.
For the purposes of this excercise, we will assume that the psychological testing process is flawlessly accurate (which is patently untrue in real life).
This test will also determine whether any form of abuse is likely.

Economic testing.
I am not suggesting that only the wealthy be allowed to have children, and am more than willing for the government to provide financial assitance to poorer families.
However, I'm talking about those who are obviously in no fit economic state to look after children: those who have no means of support whatsoever (unemployed, homeless, etc).
(Although, of course, under my rule such problems will swiftly be a thing of the past.)

Drug testing.
Although I will be introducing a raft of liberal drug reforms, including across-the-board decriminalisation (for users, not dealers) and new treatment options, drugs may still be a problem.
Drug testing will eliminate anyone who is currently using any substance deemed to interfere significantly with effective parenting.
We're talking about heroin, in particular, but alcohol abuse is also one to watch out for (although that may be difficult to test for, but maybe we'll catch that in the psych testing).
Other recreational drugs may or may not fall into this category, and certain substances will need to be considered on a case-by-case basis.
For instance, marijuana is not automatically a disqualifier, since (under my rule) it will be just as legitimate as alcohol as a recreational drug; however, like alcohol, we will be watching for signs of abuse or over-use.
Clearly, this is a tricky area.

Etiquette testing.
This is where we start to ask potential parents such questions as:
"You have your child in a pram and you decide you want to eat in a particular restaurant. When you arrive, you find that the restaurant is absolutely packed and the only table available is right at the rear. To get to this table you will have to lift the pram above the heads of the other diners, and furthermore, you will have to leave the pram in a position very close to where the waiting staff will be walking past with plates of food. What do you do?"
Anyone who answers anything other than "Eat somewhere else" is immediately disqualified.
Answers such as "Take the table in the back" or "Stand at the front of the restaurant waiting for another table to become free" are right out.
For that matter, it would be important to establish that parents know what babysitters are for, and know that it's not okay to take a child to a fancy restaurant.

Educational testing.
Before you get too concerned, this is really about educating the prospective parents, rather than disallowing those with no education.
What I'm talking about is teaching people about how to be a good parent.
This, to me, is the crux of the issue.
I am basically sick and tired of seeing parents do such stupid things as refuse to buy their kid a lollipop, then cave into the demands after the kid screams for ten minutes.
I feel like slapping the parent across the back of the head and yelling, "You're just re-inforcing the behaviour!"
So, those wishing to become parents will need to show a sound understanding of the psychological principles involved in raising a child.
I know there are a lot of conflicting viewpoints out there, and this is not about being prescriptive as to any one particular "correct" way of raising children.
What I'm looking for here is just some evidence that a little thought is going into raising your children, and you're not just ruled by your emotions.
 
 
 
Robet Éivaayvah on October 21st, 2004 04:44 pm (UTC)
So what happens if some one gets pregnant without a parenting licence?
Jacobyak_boy on October 21st, 2004 04:52 pm (UTC)
Well, since we're in my "perfect world", then I can simply decree that such an event is not possible.

Contraception is not only mandatory, but somehow infallible and enforced.

It doesn't have to be a plausible scenario, that's the beauty of playing "what if".
Robet Éivaayvah on October 21st, 2004 04:55 pm (UTC)
Ah, so you're not just a dictator over the country, but a dictator over nature?

Why not just dictate that everyone has to be a good parent?
Jacobyak_boy on October 21st, 2004 05:05 pm (UTC)
It doesn't have to be nature, we can call it Science Fiction if you want.

Perhaps women are required to come to a clinic once a month, at which they will be checked to make sure they are properly "protected".

I, personally, consider early term abortion to be just another form of contraception, and non-invasisve chemical treatments are already more-or-less available.

Sure, it's quite an invasion of civil liberities, but isn't that what a dictatorship is all about?
HegeMonhege_mon on October 21st, 2004 05:17 pm (UTC)
You could always put contraceptives into the water and/or food supply. And you need to pass the test to get the antidote.
Prisspr1ss on October 21st, 2004 05:16 pm (UTC)
I'm in favor of reproductive freedom. The way to improve the lives of children is opportunity and education for parents (and potential parents.)
Jacobyak_boy on October 21st, 2004 05:20 pm (UTC)
Truthfully, I agree with you 100%.

I'm just venting a little spleen.
lisbourne on October 21st, 2004 05:38 pm (UTC)
*gasp* But then we'd all have decent parents and mentally sound children that behaved well! Whatever shall be poke at for fun then?!