Parents' rights (Can o' worms)
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26-11-2012, 11:30 AM (This post was last modified: 26-11-2012 02:40 PM by Aseptic Skeptic.)
RE: Parents' rights (Can o' worms)
Parents have the right to do whatever they want with their kids so long as it doesn't break actual laws (you know, the kinds of laws that apply to all people, not just to parents and kids, like not murdering, raping, etc.). Certainly within those rights is the right to teach them whatever B.S. beliefs the parents have.

This should not be legislated. Parents should have this right and no government should step in and create laws about what parents can and cannot teach/brainwash their kids. Why? I don't trust any government on this planet to legislate that according to my wishes. I therefore would almost certainly not appreciate such legislation imposed on me and my children.

So, in a perfect world, with a perfect government that would legislate perfect laws about such things, then yes, I might (but probably wouldn't) support such laws - but we don't have a perfect world (if we did, we wouldn't need those laws) so I prefer none of those laws rather than imperfect versions of them.

Which means, in my opinion, parents remain free to screw up their kids. Sad but true, and necessary.

On a side note, what's up with "can of worms" anyway? What a meaningless phrase. It's used to imply that there is a huge problem. If there really were such a thing as a can of worms, would opening it be such a horrible thing? I would say, "Oh, look, worms". And then I would put it down, or throw it away, and go on with my life. What we really need to do is replace the silly phrase with "can of bees". Opening that can would actually be a problem. A big problem that wouldn't easily go away, wouldn't be easy to just put it down or throw it out.

So I suggest we all say "can of bees" when we might otherwise have said "can of worms" - it's much more meaningful.

(not my original idea - credit to Penn and Teller for that one).

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26-11-2012, 11:43 AM
RE: Parents' rights (Can o' worms)
(26-11-2012 11:30 AM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  On a side note, what's up with "can of worms" anyway? What a meaningless phrase. It's used to imply that there is a huge problem. If there really were such a thing as a can of worms, would opening it be such a horrible thing? I would say, "Oh, look, worms". And then I would put it down, or throw it away, and go on with my life. What we really need to do is replace the silly phrase with "can of bees". Opening that can would actually be a problem. A big problem that wouldn't easily go away, wouldn't be easy to just put it down or throw it out.

So I suggest we all say "can of bees" when we might otherwise have said "can of worms" - it's much more meaningful.

(not my original idea - credit to Penn and Teller for that one).
Or a can of spiders
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26-11-2012, 11:55 AM
RE: Parents' rights (Can o' worms)
My concern is balancing the "rights" of parents against the rights of the child and the good of society.

Do we think it's OK for parents to screw up their children so that their lives are ruined or society is endangered?

Apparently, many think so.

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26-11-2012, 12:06 PM
RE: Parents' rights (Can o' worms)
(26-11-2012 11:55 AM)Chas Wrote:  My concern is balancing the "rights" of parents against the rights of the child and the good of society.

Do we think it's OK for parents to screw up their children so that their lives are ruined or society is endangered?

Apparently, many think so.
I don't think it's "OK" for parents to do that. I think it's an awful thing to do.

However, I also don't think it's "OK" for government to legislate this issue. Without legislation, parental "rights" will continue to allow them to screw up their kids. They only way to remove those rights is to legislate them away. That's like amputating your foot because you have a thorn in your toe.

I live in the US. I'm fairly sure that if my government, today, were to legislate what parents could, should, or must teach their children, I wouldn't like it. I don't want my "Christian Nation" making laws about what I must or must not teach my children.

Even if I lived in a non-Christian nation, even if I lived in a perfectly atheistic society and could be 100% certain that my government would legislate exactly the kinds of laws that I would support, I would still be against government sticking its nose into the rights of parents to raise their own kids the way the parents see fit.

No, attacking the parental right to screw up their kids is wrong. Consider this: something like 80% of the US would believe that I am screwing up my kids, and would legislate accordingly if they could - and their motive would be that they are just doing it to protect my children from being brainwashed into atheism and eventually an eternity in hell because I'm a bad parent screwing up my young and impressionable kids. As good Christians, as good citizens, they should immediately act on behalf of my poor, innocent, children before it's too late.

I don't want that. I don't want to open that can of bees (sorry Vera, I'm not afraid of spiders - if I opened that can, I would just put the lid back on. If any got out, I would squish them if they're the dangerous kind, or relocate them to my garden if they're not).

If we're going to attack anything, if we're going to march to war to save the kids who are being screwed up by parental/religious indoctrination, then we must first fix the parents - get them to stop believing in this nonsense and then they won't screw their kids up with it.

That's the only answer that I find acceptable - not that I find it easy or even realistic.

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26-11-2012, 12:10 PM
RE: Parents' rights (Can o' worms)
(26-11-2012 11:55 AM)Chas Wrote:  My concern is balancing the "rights" of parents against the rights of the child and the good of society.

Do we think it's OK for parents to screw up their children so that their lives are ruined or society is endangered?

Apparently, many think so.
The thing is, how and where do you draw the line. If I remember correctly, in 1984 kids were taken from their families and educated by the State (in Brave New World they didn't even have parents), and since the state is not always (actually, rather rarely) the most benign of entities, it's not really safe to entrust it with more power than it already has. At least nowadays.

While parents, supposedly, do have their kids' best interests at heart. The problem is that they are not always qualified to make an educated decision about what is in their kid's best interest.

I think it's a catch-22 kind of thing. So once again my answer would be that we need a more educated and evolved society... only, for this we need kids that haven't been brainwashed, so yeah - catch-22.

Luckily, some minds can survive even the most rigid brainwashing...

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26-11-2012, 01:31 PM
RE: Parents' rights (Can o' worms)
I hate the idea of indoctrination, but it's too problematic to legislate against it. I think the only way you can help the situation is with improvements to the educational system, and even then, the homeschooled kids don't benefit. Homeschooled kids who have been completely brainwashed may be unsaveable, but if people are taught good science and critical thinking in public schools, I think there could be a slow progression toward a more reasonable society.

The reason I am talking about children only is because I think a lot of the parents are mostly beyond hope, so focusing on getting kids to think right would help to get those kids, if they grow up and have kids, to teach their own kids to think and use reason.
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26-11-2012, 04:07 PM
RE: Parents' rights (Can o' worms)
I have one parenting question, if any US citizen can confirm or not. I used to live with an American woman for 2 years. She has two kids, one is about my age, one is a teenager. And for some time she lived in the US with them. And she said that you can't even legally clean you child between the legs once it is 3 years old. You can legally not help it on the toilet if it's not able to do it alone yet. etc. You are not allowed to slap it, when it was very very naughty. BUT when the police comes and brings your kid home because it did something stupid they tell you to "take care of it" meaning to give it a proper beating.
So to me it sounds like in the US there is nothing really clear. I mean if you do not wash your 3 year old kid properly, that is childabuse but if you do wash it properly it's child abuse too?

Another question for UK citizens. I had a coworker once. She had two young kids of I think 8 and 10 years old. She said when she lived in the UK with them, at school the teachers would ask if the kids were disciplined in any way at home. Like being grounded was as bad as getting beaten. And if the kids reported back that they did get disciplined, the parents got into trouble. Is that true?




Now my take on parenting. Yes, we have to stay inside the laws. But not because they are good laws, laws are too absolute. We stay in the laws so we can keep our kids and stay out of jail, right?
Like in Germany there is a law that you are not allowed to beat your children. Ok, sure I am not going to beat my kid up until it is green and blue. But I will rather slap my kids hand on the way to the hot stove then argue while it touches it.
Back at college (I am a certified childcare worker) we learned different educational styles. Autoritarian, cooperative, laissez faire. They always hyped the cooperative style, let the kid be a part of the decision, explain everything. The made it the non plus ultra. BUT my style at work and with any kids that have ever been in my care, I am a good mix of Autoritarian and cooperative. There are situations in which there is no time to explain and the kid simply has to listen, now. That is me being Autoritarian. There is no way the child will get it's way in such a situation. For example crossing the road or walking through the city. Usually the kids know why some rules are in place and even though they were not part of the desicion to put the rule in place, they know why it is there and respect it (most of the time).

Now on religion I have a few thoughts. As my hubby and I are planning. Romania is a very christian country. I mean so christian that atheist is not just a bad word but a curse word.
So we can not put our kid in school and say that it is not going to religion because we are an atheist family. Not only will that result in the kid becoming an outsider, also one mark on the papers will be missing, which is bad because religion is an easy A. We decided that our kid will be smart, there is no way around. And before school we will explain the religion situation to it with pros and contras and let it be a part of the desicion. Pros are, an easy A, not being socially outlawed or bullied. Contras, it has to learn things that aren't true while our education at home does the opposite.
We simply decided that we cannot forbid religion to our kid because that makes it something secret, exciting and forbidden and that will very likely result in a rebellion that ends up with out kid choosing to be indoctrinated and believe that shit.
If we stay open, if we let it go to religion (even if it is just because it likes the teacher there) so be it. We are going to explain things, and when our child gets stupid ideas from that subject we can make it question everything.
So legally we have a right to opt the kid out of religion but we probably won't do it.

I think the education you give your kid at home can be much stronger then all the outside influences. Doesn't have to but can. And our eduation will be stronger than whatever the kid will learn at religion.
I know that around here the laws aren't as harsh yet. I am pretty sure that noone will call child services when a child comes to school and says that it got smacked for something. And I am not a person that hits kids. Sure probably my kid will get some very rare but therefore very well working slaps. And I am happy that here we live in a country where I will not lose my child over it. Just as an explanation is nessasary, if my kid throws a tantrum and there is no talking, it will probably get a slap to snap it out of it. I know it worked when I was a kid Wink I remember I got one once and instead of crying I looked at my mom and said "four" that was when I was 10. So at 10 years old I got slapped the fourth time in my life. But that worked at least.

On school. Well I would love to homeschool my kid. Honestly I would love to. BUT also I find the social interaction with people of the same age group on a dayly basis, very important for the child. So of course I will send it to school. (homeschooling isn't allowed here anyway afaik). My Malleus once said, very truthful, that we can always add things to the education at home. Like if I find science very important I will teach the kid some science at home, if I find music or languages importatn, I will care for that as well. See? I can always add to what school is not giving my child. Smile

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26-11-2012, 04:24 PM (This post was last modified: 27-11-2012 01:59 PM by Vera.)
RE: Parents' rights (Can o' worms)
(26-11-2012 04:07 PM)Leela Wrote:  I have one parenting question, if any US citizen can confirm or not. I used to live with an American woman for 2 years. She has two kids, one is about my age, one is a teenager. And for some time she lived in the US with them. And she said that you can't even legally clean you child between the legs once it is 3 years old. You can legally not help it on the toilet if it's not able to do it alone yet. etc. You are not allowed to slap it, when it was very very naughty. BUT when the police comes and brings your kid home because it did something stupid they tell you to "take care of it" meaning to give it a proper beating.
So to me it sounds like in the US there is nothing really clear. I mean if you do not wash your 3 year old kid properly, that is childabuse but if you do wash it properly it's child abuse too?

Another question for UK citizens. I had a coworker once. She had two young kids of I think 8 and 10 years old. She said when she lived in the UK with them, at school the teachers would ask if the kids were disciplined in any way at home. Like being grounded was as bad as getting beaten. And if the kids reported back that they did get disciplined, the parents got into trouble. Is that true?




Now my take on parenting. Yes, we have to stay inside the laws. But not because they are good laws, laws are too absolute. We stay in the laws so we can keep our kids and stay out of jail, right?
Like in Germany there is a law that you are not allowed to beat your children. Ok, sure I am not going to beat my kid up until it is green and blue. But I will rather slap my kids hand on the way to the hot stove then argue while it touches it.
Back at college (I am a certified childcare worker) we learned different educational styles. Autoritarian, cooperative, laissez faire. They always hyped the cooperative style, let the kid be a part of the decision, explain everything. The made it the non plus ultra. BUT my style at work and with any kids that have ever been in my care, I am a good mix of Autoritarian and cooperative. There are situations in which there is no time to explain and the kid simply has to listen, now. That is me being Autoritarian. There is no way the child will get it's way in such a situation. For example crossing the road or walking through the city. Usually the kids know why some rules are in place and even though they were not part of the desicion to put the rule in place, they know why it is there and respect it (most of the time).

Now on religion I have a few thoughts. As my hubby and I are planning. Romania is a very christian country. I mean so christian that atheist is not just a bad word but a curse word.
So we can not put our kid in school and say that it is not going to religion because we are an atheist family. Not only will that result in the kid becoming an outsider, also one mark on the papers will be missing, which is bad because religion is an easy A. We decided that our kid will be smart, there is no way around. And before school we will explain the religion situation to it with pros and contras and let it be a part of the desicion. Pros are, an easy A, not being socially outlawed or bullied. Contras, it has to learn things that aren't true while our education at home does the opposite.
We simply decided that we cannot forbid religion to our kid because that makes it something secret, exciting and forbidden and that will very likely result in a rebellion that ends up with out kid choosing to be indoctrinated and believe that shit.
If we stay open, if we let it go to religion (even if it is just because it likes the teacher there) so be it. We are going to explain things, and when our child gets stupid ideas from that subject we can make it question everything.
So legally we have a right to opt the kid out of religion but we probably won't do it.

I think the education you give your kid at home can be much stronger then all the outside influences. Doesn't have to but can. And our eduation will be stronger than whatever the kid will learn at religion.
I know that around here the laws aren't as harsh yet. I am pretty sure that noone will call child services when a child comes to school and says that it got smacked for something. And I am not a person that hits kids. Sure probably my kid will get some very rare but therefore very well working slaps. And I am happy that here we live in a country where I will not lose my child over it. Just as an explanation is nessasary, if my kid throws a tantrum and there is no talking, it will probably get a slap to snap it out of it. I know it worked when I was a kid Wink I remember I got one once and instead of crying I looked at my mom and said "four" that was when I was 10. So at 10 years old I got slapped the fourth time in my life. But that worked at least.

On school. Well I would love to homeschool my kid. Honestly I would love to. BUT also I find the social interaction with people of the same age group on a dayly basis, very important for the child. So of course I will send it to school. (homeschooling isn't allowed here anyway afaik). My Malleus once said, very truthful, that we can always add things to the education at home. Like if I find science very important I will teach the kid some science at home, if I find music or languages importatn, I will care for that as well. See? I can always add to what school is not giving my child. Smile
Leela, a quickie - do they actually teach religion in schools over there? In all of them? Since which grade? Was it introduced right after 1989? (Our idiot of a prime minister was talking about some such shit, but they never went thorough with it... hopefully never will)

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26-11-2012, 04:24 PM
RE: Parents' rights (Can o' worms)
(26-11-2012 04:07 PM)Leela Wrote:  I have one parenting question, if any US citizen can confirm or not. I used to live with an American woman for 2 years. She has two kids, one is about my age, one is a teenager. And for some time she lived in the US with them. And she said that you can't even legally clean you child between the legs once it is 3 years old. You can legally not help it on the toilet if it's not able to do it alone yet. etc. You are not allowed to slap it, when it was very very naughty. BUT when the police comes and brings your kid home because it did something stupid they tell you to "take care of it" meaning to give it a proper beating.
So to me it sounds like in the US there is nothing really clear. I mean if you do not wash your 3 year old kid properly, that is childabuse but if you do wash it properly it's child abuse too?

I have never heard such things. I raised two kids and one of them had bed wetting issues until she was almost 9. That involved some middle of the night cleaning sessions after the age of 3. I don't remember specifically when she got to the age that she cleaned herself well enough, but I certainly don't remember anyone ever saying anything about not touching them after the age of 3.

I would never slap my kids, but my wife did. We fought about that. We both were willing to spank them, traditional spankings with our hands, no implements or torture devices. No laws against it that I ever heard of.

I have never had police urge me to beat my child. I doubt they would ever do that for legal issues - the first parent who went too far, say, resulting in a visit to the emergency room, who then said "the police told me to do it", that would be the end of police saying such things - and they're trained to avoid those kinds of problems instead of creating them, so if any police officer said anything like that, then it would be his or her own personal opinion rather than departmental policy.

My teenaged daughter did steal from a Wal Mart and got caught by store security, who then called the police. They didn't prosecute (even though I asked them to). Instead, they sent her home with me. Nobody, not at Wal Mart or on the police force, asked me to punish her in any way. They did engage a lawyer who sued me for about $500 to restock the stolen merchandise (which never left the store - Wal Mart lost nothing at all but I paid them $500 for not losing anything). Never did anyone say anything to me about how I should punish my child.

So to me there is nothing unclear about it at all.

(26-11-2012 04:07 PM)Leela Wrote:  Another question for UK citizens. I had a coworker once. She had two young kids of I think 8 and 10 years old. She said when she lived in the UK with them, at school the teachers would ask if the kids were disciplined in any way at home. Like being grounded was as bad as getting beaten. And if the kids reported back that they did get disciplined, the parents got into trouble. Is that true?

Never lived in the U.K., but my Aunt/Uncle did, and they raised two kids there and then moved back to Utah when those kids were older teenagers. I remember Uncle George telling me "it's nice to be back in the states where I can spank my rotten kids." He was kidding about the rotten bit but they did talk about not being allowed to publicly spank their children but they could still do what they wanted, spanking-wise, privately at home. That was over 20 years ago. Maybe not the same. I'll let actual U.K. residents talk about it.

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26-11-2012, 05:02 PM
RE: Parents' rights (Can o' worms)
I'm curious.

Has anyone ever successfully parented a strong willed child without spanking?

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