License to Parent

How many misfortunes would be averted if having children was not an assumed right by all? Perhaps if we were held accountable for our actions as parents, our sense of responsibility would be passed on to our children. Why is it that adoptive parents are held to a different standard than biological? Do adoptive parents hold a different set of responsibilities? Foster parents and those who adopt are only able to do so after forms are filled, financials are checked and interviews are held. It’s not a fast process. Families wait years to be approved. Why do we regulate the problem (children without homes) but not the cause? How is it that people who have no desire to care for and nurture their children are able to birth them with no repercussion to their callousness?

When my son was born a friend quipped, “All you have to do is keep him alive.” This was said tongue and cheek of course, in response to my fear filled eyes of having an infant at home. I did not enter parenting lightly. My husband and I discussed a child for a year before trying because we felt it was the right thing to do for us, not because anyone required us to think about what we were getting ourselves into. We looked at our financials and maturity levels. After a year of discussion followed by a year of planning, I was still in a world of culture shock when that baby came home.

Not only would a license requirement slow down an exploding birth rate to irresponsible’s but it would also call for more jobs and some well needed government revenue. I believe that prospective parent(s) should have to prove financial security, a clean record going back a certain amount of years, a suitable home, and be of a legal age. The acceptance process would not have to take long however one should have to submit for a license renewal (similar to a drivers license) every couple of years.

When a teen does get pregnant, they could be allowed a “coach” should their parent not be supportive. However, both mother and father should be placed in a program, much like a work release, allowing them only time for school and child. The fact that they are given a reality show and made to feel like some tabloid star is sad. Media needs to stop promoting bad parents and we need to stop watching:

  • Honey Boo Boo.  I have never seen the show but I am not living under a rock.  She is a malnutritioned, chubby, back woods, not very well educated, bratty kid and it is not her fault.  Her mother should be ashamed. The saddest part is that she could have cashed in on her 15 minutes and improved her daughters chance at a healthy future.
  • Kris Kardashian. Here is a woman who will exploit her children at all costs. I am not certain when her bank account will ever be full enough. Kim’s notoriety rising from a porn tape is in no way like a phoenix but more like a vulture and her mother is right beside her.
  • The Lohans. Nuff said.

With these glowing examples, it’s no wonder that the bar is set at an all time low.

We have different styles, I get that. The one that drives me bat shit crazy is the, I want to be my kids best friend.

  • Parents who allow their daughters to dress like sluts are not being responsible parents. Teenagers have no business wearing belly shirts, mini skirts, heels, makeup, etc. Are we really surprised hearing about lipstick parties and that kids are losing their virginity at the average age of 12! I have driven by girls waiting for the bus stop who look like they should be standing on a corner. It is not their fault! Who buys these clothes? If these misguided little girls are responsible enough to have jobs to buy their own clothes, they do not have to be allowed to wear them.
  • Computers. Guess what mom and dad, you can control more than you think. I recently heard a parent discuss the fact that their son would have a computer but it would be kept in a communal part of the house like the family room. That way whatever site he was on would be visible to the family. I understand that most kids will find a way to break the rules but at least make it a little difficult.
  • Cell Phones. When I grew up I would have never even thought about answering the phone at dinner. Now kids sleep with the things under their pillows. Take the phones away! Have a conversation with your kid. Find out what is going on in their life. Make them look you in the eye. Fucking BE THEIR PARENT!
  • Facebook and Social Media. Find a way to police it. It’s your job. They may be too young to understand the ramifications of having things like pictures of themselves partying but you are not.

And let us shelf the, not enough time, excuse. There will never be enough time, but yet the hero mom and dads somehow scrape 25 hours out of 24. Some work 2, 3 and 4 jobs and get a hot meal on the table, make sure their homework is done and talk to their kids. Recently I read of a new trend where parents have pool parties for their children and incorporate an alligator. What in bloody hell is going on America?! In what world is it a good idea to have children swim with an alligator of any size? Yet another reason that I wholeheartedly believe adults need to apply for a license to parent.

Think of what it would help solve. Welfare mother’s, child abusers, childhood obesity, teen mom’s, drug addictions, bullying … there is no end to the improvements that our society would feel by requiring adults to apply and PAY for a license to have a child. It is easier to have a baby then it is to get a driver’s license. Being a parent is a privilege and it is a ridiculous amount of work to be even halfway decent. Applying for a license would give us pause. For the 10% of parents who have no intention of parenting they may not attempt the role if they really have to work for it. With any luck people would remember the vows they took when they became a mother or father in the years and decades that follow.

 

Please weigh in …do you think prospective parents should be required to obtain a license?

 

 

About woman

I am a thirty-something-five. I still look at grown-ups and marvel at how adult they are. I have one husband and one baby boy and I feel fortunate for every misstep and every leap because it is that path that brought me to them. I have a Master's Degree in Acting from DePaul University and I wish that I used it more. Something that I am working on. I lived in 5 different states only to end up back in my hometown. Wine was really introduced to me after I promoted a wine and jazz festival in the Northwest. I moved home to run my father's flagship automobile dealership which he owned for some 40 years before his retirement. Until recently I was spending a lot of time searching for myself. I kept greeting the day making plans to change the next one (my dad always told me I was a procrastinator). Now it seems I have found a fire. The futures so bright...

  • SB

    It’s not like I haven’t thought about this before, but it’s not realistic. For starters, the system would be open to horrendous abuse. How do you feel about China’s one-child policy? I find it abhorrent. As I do the idea that anyone can tell me what I can or can’t do with my own body.

    Maybe a better idea would be to direct substantial funding to programs to help new parents and families. See Sweden for examples. After they prohibited any kind of corporal punishment (including smacking) and introduced education classes for parents who fell foul of that law (cause, really, we all know that education works more effectively than imprisonment or fines), not a single child was murdered by their parents for years and years.

    Why do we expect anyone to have an innate understanding of good parenting practices? Good parenting practices must be learned, and if you have been poorly parented yourself, you are starting behind the eight ball. It’s not fair to judge those parents. We should be reaching out and educating them.

    • http://Theinsidewoman.com woman

      I wholeheartedly agree, I do not believe anyone has the right to dictate what I do with my body. China is not a country that I would chose to emulate. However, I do not think America can continue down the path of zero accountability. While I like the example set by Sweden, where would these funds come from? This country is already broke, schools can not even afford to properly educate it’s children. If we were to implement a “license” that a parent had to pay for, then perhaps some of the funds accrued could be put towards education. You are absolutely right, good parenting practices must be learned, but there are bad parents who look to others to take responsibility for their children. This alone shows that they recognize a role of responsibility but chose not to take it on themselves. Either way I think we both agree, change has to happen. If parents were to simply embrace and accept the role of parenting we would be looking at a much brighter future.

    • woman

      I wholeheartedly agree, I do not believe anyone has the right to dictate what I do with my body. China is not a country that I would chose to emulate. However, I do not think America can continue down the path of zero accountability. While I like the example set by Sweden, where would these funds come from? This country is already broke, schools can not even afford to properly educate it’s children. If we were to implement a “license” that a parent had to pay for, then perhaps some of the funds accrued could be put towards education. You are absolutely right, good parenting practices must be learned, but there are bad parents who look to others to take responsibility for their children. This alone shows that they recognize a role of responsibility but chose not to take it on themselves. Either way I think we both agree, change has to happen. If parents were to simply embrace and accept the role of parenting we would be looking at a much brighter future.

  • Squiz

    I agree! We need to financial incent people not to have babies not to have them. People get pregno on a whim not sure you can control that but you could change a fee unless they did take some parenting classes after becoming pregno. Also we need to reform welfare so it is not based on having kids. Today the only way to get a “raise” on welfare is to have more kids! I think that should stop. They need to earn more through job training or be enabled to get a job.. But that is another blog

    • http://Theinsidewoman.com woman

      The whole welfare thing is incomrehensible! If a license were required then we could eradicate this problem. I feel truly sad for their children.

    • http://theinsidewoman.com/ elizabeth

      The whole welfare thing is incomrehensible! If a license were required then we could eradicate this problem. I feel truly sad for their children.

    • woman

      The whole welfare thing is incomrehensible! If a license were required then we could eradicate this problem. I feel truly sad for their children.