Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Parental Controls Needed…for Parents (or, “Are Parents Smarter Than Their Fifth-Graders?”)

Back in February, Beyond-The-Political-Spectrum delved into the issue of special education in America, which explored the notion that perhaps not everyone should be allowed to have or raise children (http://beyond-the-political-spectrum.blogspot.com/search/label/Entitlements).
From my own experiences and observations, there are far too many irresponsible and selfish parents who, for whatever systemic and/or personal reasons, simply bear children and then burden our public schools, other adults, or the streets with the responsibility of raising them.
And in the instances where parents are taking an active role in the rearing of their children, there are many cases of either over-parenting, or downright foolhardiness in the decisions that they make. Consider the case of the drama that played itself out in Minnesota over the past week. In that instance, Colleen Hauser, and her 13-year-old Daniel son spent a week on the run, avoiding both law-enforcement authorities and a court order requiring that the cancer-ridden teen submit chemotherapy in order to save his life. By most accounts, it was believed that Daniel would die without the treatments for his Hodgkins’ Lymphoma, but such treatments went against the religious convictions of the Hausers, who prefer the natural healing practices of their American Indiana beliefs.
After a week on the run, the mother and son surrendered to authoritAdd Videoies back in Minnesota, where the mother was taken into custody and the son became a ward of Brown County, Minnesota’s protective services. This was another in a long list of cases where there is too much faith being applied and not enough good parenting sense, once again proving the absurdity that is a sad reality in America; we’re required to be licensed to do a great many things—including to cut hair—but anyone is allowed to be a parent. And as I suggested back in March, there should be a requirement of psychological testing, counseling, as well as a minimal education to have and bear children in America. Granted, I’m sure that this is not going to be well-received, but then again, as individuals, most of us have no clue what’s good for us…as a society, it’s even worse.


AP – FILE -- This recently taken file photo (may 13, 2009) shows The Hausers, Colleen and Daniel



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In the same criticism of special education, I also explored the notion that many parents were too quick to reach for the meds in addressing behavioral problems with their children. As if to illustrate the dangers of making psychotropic drugs our Plan A in helping to rear our children, this week, it came to light that the powerful anti-psychotic drug Risperdal has left a trail of troubling side-effects, especially in children. And yes, some parents want to sue the drug manufacturers for the trouble that their decision to use powerful and dangerous drugs caused.
Watch this CBS News Investigation (originally aired 05/29/09) for more information on the effects of this drug.






Watch CBS Videos Online



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Finally, it was has to be indisputable proof that there is a such thing as "too much freedom," 29-year-old Knox County, Tennessee resident Desmond Hatchett was in court recently to face hearings (with an "s") on allegations that he was not meeting his child support payment responsibilities. This wasn't hard to understand considering that Hatchett has fathered some 21 (as in "Blackjack") children by various women. During the particular day he was in court, Hatchett's name appeared on the dockette some 11 times in one day (one for each woman he's fathered a child with).
As a single man, I had been wondering where all the single women eligible for dating were. Now I know...they apparently were all in Desmond Hatchett's bedroom. Reiterating the point, there are far too many selfish and dysfunctional adults who continually become or who are already engaging in what could laughably be called "child-rearing." And what's worse, their over-exaggrated faith in their ability to properly raise children will do nothing more than burden the rest of society with the social and financial and reprecussions of their decision for years to come. To state the obvious bluntly, biological capacity should not be the sole criteria for parenthood. There are far more relevant factors to consider, such as being of sound mind and emotional well-being, as well as the ability to provide (the possibility of) a future for one's child...without undue strain on society.

Desmond Hatchett sits in a Knox County, Tennessee courtroom last week, awaiting review for his multiple child-support cases.
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