In my last post, I talked about the growing opinion that children shouldn’t “belong” to their parents. A vocal subculture believes children should have the legal right to make some of their own decisions:
The issue of children’s rights is large… Holt presses the case for why adults need to relinquish some of their authority in order to provide children the opportunity to grow independently.
…”The fact is that children can be and are regularly punished, by parents and the law, for any of the reasons, and the same reasons for which slaves used to be punished—for talking back, for “disrespect,” for disobedience, for being at large without permission, for running away—in short, for doing anything that might imply that they think they have any freedom or rights at all.”
The people most motivated to shrink the rights of parents in the name of liberating children are those who believe they suffered abuse at the hands of their own parents.
That’s not to say they weren’t really abused.
I’m only making it clear they have a sharp bias and plenty of intense emotion behind their activism.
ALL major government overreaches stem from people demanding protection from one abuse or another. And many new laws start with a push to move forward “for the sake of the children.” This movement to expand “Child Rights” is the perfect storm of both.
And it becomes a problem when you realize that today’s Common Sense is rapidly evolving away from traditional values and toward more liberal ones. As I described in my last post, there are two Fundamentalist Extremes butting heads in our culture, and somebody is going to lose.
Either parents are going to have the final authority over their children, or “The Village” will.
And, unfortunately, “The Village” contains many outraged, recovering-victims with huge chips on their shoulders and a singular mind to SAVE THE KIDS…
…even though sometimes the only “abuse” going on is a simple difference of parenting style or opinion.
Just how emotional can The Village get over a disagreement?
I found out yesterday, when the news broke that a local cafeteria lady was fired for handing out lunches to kids who couldn’t pay…
When I read the article, I discovered the school has a free lunch program for students in the lowest income bracket AND they have a policy of providing a cheese sandwich and milk to kids without a sack lunch. Many parents in the school remarked that this lunch lady “helped” their kids get around that policy, on the days the child forgot to bring his/her money.
So, wanting to offer a different perspective, I commented:
I wouldn’t want this lady to reward my child’s forgetfulness. If you forget your money, then you eat the cheese sandwich. I know from experience my daughter’s memory would improve after that.
A few minutes later, I saw that a woman called herself a “VOICE” for children, and that she planned to write a letter to the Indiana Attorney General and file a formal complaint against this school for “neglecting and abusing” its students. So I wrote to her as well:
Please don’t be the voice for my child. (*smiley face*) If she forgets her lunch, she can eat the cheese sandwich. I’m tired of other adults teaching my kids they get to break rules and get rewards, if they’ve already been told what the consequences are for leaving the house without their backpack or their money or whatever. When Mommy forgets her lunch money, she doesn’t get a free one from McDonald’s. I’d like my kids to know how the world works. It’s hard when “voices” like yours are teaching my kids they will LITERALLY keel over and die if they don’t get the same hot tray the others got.
Thanks. (*smiley face again*)
Well, readers, I’m used to stirring the pot. But since I was talking about MY children and MY parenting practices, I had no idea the backlash would be as swift and intense as it was.
-Amanda, your an idiot
-I hope your children turn out better then you did.
-Glad your not my parent. You officially suck at life.
I chuckled at first over the many grammatical errors, and replied, “That’s cool, guys. (*smiley face*) Just seriously, don’t assume every crying child needs your help. I’ll be the voice for my own child.”
And then the responses got even worse…
Critic: No I’m sorry letting your child go without food all day at school is not acceptable. Your child is hungry and needs food. I agree, Amanda, with that way of teaching when it comes to “forgot my homework.” They need to face consequences. But not a 1st grader. Not eating lunch. That’s just not acceptable. I’m sorry you feel like letting your child go without eating is a proper form of punishment.
Me: It’s not a PUNISHMENT, guys. It’s allowing them to experience what happens to ANYONE who doesn’t have what they need… Although, getting the cheese sandwich is still cushioning the consequences, for age-appropriateness.
Another Critic: I hope that you never have to face YOUR child when he/she is hungry. You are a terrible person and need some serious help.
Another Critic: Amanda is saying the child should have starved! She thinks that she is the be-all end-all in parenting. She honestly thinks kids should never be helped and should “learn” adult lessons at the ripe old age of 6. She must be a religious zealot. I’ve seen this kind of behavior in zealots like her.
Critic #314: Raise your kids the way you want and shut up. Nobody was talking about you or your poor kids since there’s nothing that can be done for your retarded self.
Yet Another Critic: If something happens to your kids, Amanda, rest assured we won’t care. Since you feel your parenting is self worthy. [?] If your child comes up missing, breaks its leg, etc. No one should tell you because you’re “their voice.”
That is how you sound. It takes a village to raise a child not you.
Now, it’s only fair to disclose that I did earn a single ally, toward the end of the thread. One of the people who disagreed (but did so politely) tried to speak reason with the mob, saying “In defense of Amanda, she never once made any disparaging remarks… While I may not agree with her, nor she with me, I’d like to think we could have a debate of sorts without resorting to bloodshed. Kudos Amanda for taking those remarks with dignity and grace. Now that’s a great lesson for all kids to learn.”
But, I’m still deeply disturbed by the popularity of categorical statements like, “Children should never go hungry EVER” and “If you think they should, there’s something seriously wrong with you”…
and…most disturbingly…”It takes a Village.”
In fact, I was so frustrated that I’d already started writing this post you’re reading, as an example of a real-life encounter with radical Liberal Fundamentalism, even before I was threatened with Child Protection Laws.
Someone was SO UPSET by my opinion, they made sure I knew they had the power to get involved, if necessary:
Amanda, you are very confused about Child Care Protection Laws. Yes I am a “voice” for any child that needs one, I have been for 40 years and will forever be. If you are teaching a small child under 10-years-old, these rules [of yours] are a few years early! Their brains are not developed to the degree of true understanding. You need to start at [age] 13 and move forward. A small child not offered a healthy meal constitutes in our laws, “neglect and abuse” The End. Do as you please [but] for all of your choices there will be consequences. You need Mental Health and I hope you get it…
Now, maybe I’m extra emotional due to being 18-weeks pregnant.
Maybe I’m already sensitive about the overreaches of CPS, since the friend of a relative took her small child to the ER this weekend, and the hospital then reported her to the “authorities” who ended up taking him away from her…
…because he “doesn’t weigh enough.”
(Read: They made her go home without her baby!)
But whatever the reason, that Voice-for-Children’s comment REALLY boiled my blood.
Is this all it takes now? You simply decide that something is “harmful” or “abusive,” and you become responsible for that child? If you don’t believe a child is being fed enough, you can charge in, on your white stallion, and snatch them away?
I’m simultaneously horrified and PISSED!
Oh, I understand child abuse is real. I understand that some parents don’t take care of their children, and we need to find ways to protect the lives of small people who can’t protect themselves. Truly, I get it.
But, if you think you’re outraged by child abuse, just imagine my own outrage in being unfairly accused of it–and feeling like my options for defending/protecting my family are slipping away as quickly as traditional Common Sense is.
Once again, the Liberal Activist Warriors are blind to the fact that every problem they try to fix ends up causing three more on an even bigger scale.
As they “speak up” for the children, they are shouting down and abusing the parent, who most likely loves that child a thousand times more than some misguided and self-righteous liberal zealot.
No, it does not take a Village to raise my child, so long as that Village is filled with over-reacting “activist”/bullies who can’t even spell…
…hypocritical bullies who believe “religious” fundamentalism is a problem, but their own extreme fundamentalism is totally fine..
…pious bullies who some day will claim my successful, adult children are “just privileged white people” instead of ever admitting my staunch traditional values did a pretty damn good job preparing them for the world after all.
The question remains: are parents the final authority of their children, or does the Village have some type of say?
Because I’m terrified of a future in which I may have to worry whether the Village approves of my cheese-sandwich lesson–or if the Superhero Voices are going to barge in and “do the right thing” by sending me home without my babies.
I took screenshots of my encounter with the Village Mob, when they came at me with their pitchforks. They may be too small to view in this format, but here they are anyway.