However, don’t pretend that this precludes me from being able to criticize bad parenting. Just because I never accidentally knocked someone up, and was prevented from having children once I met the person I wanted to have children with, doesn’t mean I don’t have the right to comment on instances of shitty parenting when I observe them.
No, I don’t understand how hard it can be. No, I don’t feel the pressures associated with raising children. That doesn’t mean I don’t know right from wrong. And there are a lot of parents out there who are doing it wrong.
Besides, as a childless person, I contribute to the welfare of your children. I do not get the child-care tax credit, the extra exemptions, the higher earned-income credit. When you file your taxes every year, you may get money back. The only way that ever happened for me is when I had payroll take extra from my checks as sort-of a no interest savings account. (Not that a standard savings account gives you any interest anymore anyway.) The money I paid in taxes goes to you, your children, their schools, etc, etc… And I’m fine with that. I understand that it benefits the society I live in and eventually, myself. What I am not fine with is this chorus of “parents” telling me I have no business commenting on the way they raise (or don’t) their children.
We live in a society. Our actions affect the lives of others. It is time to accept that the line that “everything you do is nobody’s business but your own” is total and utter bullshit. We all use roads or have goods and/or services transported on said roads, we all have a stake in QUALITY education of the children in our society, and we all have a responsibility to care for the basic needs of those unable to do so for themselves. If that is something you can’t accept, then you don’t belong in a society, Unfortunately for you, there is no way for you to escape to total independence. Even if you go off onto some empty land and build a hermit shack and live off the land, someone owns that land. If it is yours, there were title companies and banks involved, or at the very least the government. And if you don’t own the land, then you are squatting and therefore still not independent. Welcome to the reality, Socialism is everywhere.
So, accepting that we live in a society, shouldn’t we have the right to make observations about the things we see that are detrimental to the continuing function of our society? Politicians make observations about things they have absolutely no experience in dealing with all of the time. Yes, many times they are wrong, (such as the widely debunked myths that disabled people are gaming the system, and that all welfare recipients spend their money on drugs) but they can also be right, (such as seeing that far too many of our citizens live in poverty, or knowing that not everyone has the same opportunities).
Using the justification I have just described to you, I now present my little rant about people who should have never had children, or should learn to become decent parents, or even decent people. I will do this in the style of Jeff Foxworthy, because, well, it is easy.
You Might Be A Bad Parent If:
- You were ever on the Maury Show.
- You yell at your child who is obviously tired for whining or being fussy at WalMart at 3 in the morning!
- You drag your child around a WalMart at 3 in the morning.
- You buy everything your child wants if they cry about it loud enough.
- You never buy your child anything they want.
- You leave you children at home by themselves while you are out at “the club”.
- You are more concerned with meeting people at “the club” than your child’s well-being.
- You were ever on Jerry Springer.
- You let your children under the age of 10 watch Maury and/or Springer.
- You attempt to sell/trade your child.
- You abuse your child.
- You never punish your child.
- You attempt to live vicariously through your child.
- You do drugs with your child.
- You send your child to a boarding school.
- Your child is raised by nannies.
- You name your child “North”.
- You constantly ignore your child.
- You constantly dote over your child.
- You expect your child to make all of their own decisions.
- You never let your child make any of their own decisions.
- You don’t let your child be a child.
- You try to keep your child from becoming an adult.
- You deny proper medical care to your child based on lies, myths, and unproven beliefs.
- You don’t teach your child.
- You don’t ever let your children discover and learn on their own.
- You over-structure your child’s time.
- You do not have any structure in your child’s life.
- You choose your lover over your child.
- You stay in a bad relationship that is bad for the child, using the child as an excuse for your fear of being alone.
Of course these 30 things aren’t the ony ways to be a bad parent. We’ve all seen the horror stories on the news about the horrible things done to children by their “parents”. Those sociopaths do not make the list because it is far beyond what the common, regular bad parents do. These are just the things that I notice the most frequently. They are behaviors that can be changed. They are selfish or neglectful or just plain stupid; but they all can be corrected.
And us non-parenting people should be allowed to point this out. We should no longer feel like it is none of our business, because it is. These children will be running things before we even realize it. Why shouldn’t we be able to comment on that? Why shouldn’t we be able to attempt to correct the bad parenting when the results are forced upon us? Will they listen? I don’t know. Will it change anything? Again, I don’t know. All I do know is that keeping silent won’t change anything either.