Parenting Without a License

Written by dad - 3 Comments

If only they made people take a test and earn a license before having kids. Wait a minute… They’re thinking about doing just that in New Zealand! Indeed, a panel of experts has proposed that all parents should have to sit through a parenting test if they want to maintain custody of their children.

The test, which would be given when a baby is born, and repeated when they turn one, three, five, eight, eleven, and fourteen, woud be designed to identify “risk factors” for child abuse, such as a history of domestic violence, drug and/or alcohol problems, or mental illness. Parents that are found to exhibit these risk factors would then be offered help. And if parents refused to accept the help, or even to be tested in the first, they would have their child-relate benefits suspended and would risk losing their children.

According to Family Court Judge Graeme MacCormick:

Just as you must have a birth certificate or other evidence of birth or caregiving to receive a child-related benefit, so you would also need to have a welfare/needs assessment to receive it. We require people to have a licence to drive a car. But we do not require anything of significance for what is one of the most difficult, challenging and important responsibilities of all: bringing up children.

Parenting Council chairwoman Lesley Max further suggested that parents that show risk factors be taken out to “an intensive residential parenting retreat” while their kids remain at home with temporary caregivers. I’m not sure about you, but my wife and I might consider bombing the test on purpose just to get a piece of that parenting retreat. After all, we don’t have any family nearby, and baby sitting is downright expensive!

[Source: New Zealand Herald]

Published on September 20th, 2006 - 3 Comments
Filed under: Miscellany
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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. There is little doubt that protecting children these days requires great effort on behalf of parents. The number of threats, vices, temptations and risks that may harm children continue to grow. It is essential that parents educate themselves about these threats in order to protect them. Passive parenting is no longer an option. At the Prevent Delinquency Project we suggest the following F.A.M.I.L.Y. Model:
    Familiarize yourself with the threats against your children;
    Accept that all children require supervision and guidance;
    Monitor the activities of your children;
    Investigate anything that may be suspicious;
    Listen to and learn from your children; and
    Yearn to help your children when problems arise.

    Comment by Carl A. Bartol — Sep 20th 2006 @ 9:21 am
  2. This is among the ultimate perils of accepting “help” or “benefits” from the government. The strings they come with quickly turn into chains.

    Comment by Matt — Oct 6th 2006 @ 4:47 am
  3. I think that pa parenting license should be chosen by the parents if they want to sit in a class or take a test. They shouldn’t have to be forced, get your kids token away, or not get custody of them.

    Comment by Jessica — Sep 12th 2008 @ 12:17 pm

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