What Next? Jail Time for Non-Organic Soccer Snacks?

Filed under: Opinions

So a Florida legislator is introducing a bill that would have teachers grade parents. This idea is more revolting than a school lunch fish taco.

I get that the idea is to make sure parents get their kid to school on time, get their homework done, etc., etc. But what's next? Grading parents on whether they feed their wee ones locally-grown baby lettuce? Whether they play enough Mozart during dinner? Whether their kids are too fat?

And if the parents "fail" -- then what? Tutoring? Or maybe they'll be forbidden from having more kids till they redo their first one and hand him back in? And by the way, who's going to be the arbiter of whether we're "good enough?" Amy Chua?

The terrible thing about this idea is that it allows someone else to determine if our parenting skills pass muster. As "America's Worst Mom" (go ahead and Google me) I can assure you that there is a wide spectrum of parenting practices out there, and something that you think is just peachy, someone else will find appalling -- and happily turn you in. (Think KGB, but more self-righteous.)

So if you feed your kids Cheez-Its in a hippie-dippy town -– and those Cheez-Its aren't whole wheat, sodium-reduced -- watch out. Live in a preppy precinct and let your kids quit lacrosse -- watch out. Send your kids out to play on the lawn and some folks will say you're negligent. But keep them inside, glued to Grand Theft Auto (or its gateway drug, Club Penguin), and the anti-full-salt-cracker crowd will blame you for giving your kids rickets.

Start legislating these decisions and we are all up a tree. (Something we may or may not be allowed to let our kids climb.) Think of the parents who have gotten actual tickets for letting their kids wait in the car while they ran in to pick up the pizza. The parents thought it was fine. The authorities said no. Do the authorities really care more about our own kids than we do?

Or how about this story I just heard: A mom who was having a home birth experienced complications and ended up at the hospital where she was given powerful drugs. Fine. But when the nurse handed her her newborn, the groggy mom said she wasn't prepared to hold him yet -- please hand him to the dad.

Was that a responsible mom? Not in the eyes of the hospital, which found her behavior so disturbing it assigned a social worker to her case -- for six weeks!

You really don't want outsiders judging your parenting because there is always going to be SOMETHING you think is just fine -- a vegan diet! a dinner of Cocoa Puffs! -- that the bigshots disapprove of.

And it could all start so innocently. With a report card.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.