Here's a question to ponder: In the USA, are we free to be lousy parents?
Obviously, I'm not referring to abusive, neglectful adults who victimize, exploit or otherwise harm their children through physical, sexual or emotional abuse.
But let's be honest. Some people are just better at parenting than others, and some are really crappy at it. They capitulate when they should be firm and consistent, they indulge when they should withhold, they turn a blind eye to disobedience and disrespectful attitudes until those behaviors become character traits, they expect others (teachers, administrators, coaches, neighbors, managers in stores and restaurants) to pick up their slack and administer the discipline that they are too lazy/unskilled/apathetic/pick-your-word to provide. Some parents are selfish, some are unorganized, some are clueless.
We all know stinky parents. Close your eyes and envision your cousin watching his kid throw a temper tantrum last Thanksgiving, ruining the feast for everyone, and ask yourself this: If your cousin is really a world-class crap-o-la father, should he be free to rear his child as he pleases, even if his lack of parenting skills ultimately will impact the community as a whole?
And what about that poor kid of his? It's not the child's fault that he was unlucky enough to be born to a stinky father. Shouldn't someone rescue him?
Here's the rub: This is the mentality that is bringing us legislation such as that in Louisiana which took effect last week, requiring schools to refer to the state's Department of Families and Children any parent who is at least three days in arrears in payments for school lunches. (Read more about it here).
The Left would have us debate the decoy question about getting parents to pay for school lunches. Let's not. Instead, let's talk about the underlying issue -- the one that scares me and should scare us all -- and that is the socialist social worker mentality that believes it's the role of the government to protect children from their unskilled, crap-o-la parents, not just the abusive, negligent, criminal ones.
This is the central question behind untold regulations that are growing in number and impact. The rights of parents to be parents -- even if they stink at it -- is under attack. What do you think?