Whose Kids Are They Anyway?

Some yet-to-be-created bureaucracy’s, according to Ellen Goodman.
My sister pointed me to this flabbergasting column, in which Goodman describes personal responsibility (for child care!) as “a political stumbling block” and asserts that “we don’t have what every European country has … because Americans don’t regard children as a common good” — as though such an attitude is a symptom rather than a strength.
Actual quotes, which I am not making up:

Kathy Rodgers, the head of NOW LDEF, points out, “no one ever says, `it’s my responsibility to educate my own child, or to doctor my own child when she’s sick.”‘ How do you shift the dialogue to the responsibility of demanding help?

We need a new mirror that reflects child-raising as something more than a private luxury.

Personally, I think it takes The Village to raise a child … ;)

9 thoughts on “Whose Kids Are They Anyway?”

  1. We have had something similar in the UK,the Minister for Children(or some such)Margaret Hodge has uttered the equivalent of”parenting is too important to be left to parents”.Why is it leftists cannot suppress the urge to interfere in peoples lives from the cradle to the grave?Invariably the costs outweigh the benefits,a huge bureaucrasy is spawned never to be abolished.Failures in the system are attributed to lack of funding and insufficient measures,more begets more and the carnival goes on.

  2. Ellen Goodman also instructed every American working stiff to promptly hand over his or her $100 Bush-taxcut check. Most people responded by politely telling her to FO and return your own check if you don’t like it, but I like mine just fine, thanks. Now I see she not only wants our checks, she wants our kids. Well I’ve got an idea for a government program. How about we ship her and her commodities, oops I mean kids, off to Europe.

  3. “Today, 70 percent of families with kids either have two working parents or a single working parent. Sometimes it seems that everything has changed except the internal dialogue.”

    Hmmm. Maybe the effort should be to redirect the dialog towards changing these 2 trends. Of course, entitlement is much easier to funnel through the “cultural placenta”

  4. As I understand it (legally speaking) every child in the USA IS a ward of the state, and just in custody of it’s parent. (At the state’s discretion.

    Which is in fact rather shocking to think about.

  5. In that case, maybe there could be a case for licensing, since some of the parents don’t have the skills to “drive”. As it is, it’s “my right, your responsibility”

  6. I distinctly recall – a couple of weeks ago – hearing a mother taking the BBC to task for not sanitising its output more assiduously:

    “I don’t want to have to monitor what my children are watching” (implying that an agent of the state should be doing it instead).


    I guess this is what happens when people become accustomed to the State and its agencies doing their nannying for them.

  7. Speaking of nannying, a couple days ago, there was a terriffic Peter Jennnings piece on the fattening of America’s children and how it is all the fault of junk food manufacturers. Of course, the focus soon became the absence of regulation of the ads. To underscore the point, the spectre of vulnerable 6 year olds inundated with “messages” was invoked. You would think that those same 6 year olds made their own dietary decisions. Dunno..I don’t see many 6 year olds writing the checks or choosing between “paper or plastic?”. Even if one accepts the premise that parents can’t compete with the brainwashing of tv adverts, it doesn’t explain who is responsible for their children’s exposure to such brainwashing. If parents simply voice their concern, vote with their pocketbook and (imagine this) prevent their kids from viewing the evil sponsored programming..mr. Jennings might not have to spend precious air time frowning about the lack of regulation..at least about this.

  8. Goodman is absolutely right. There is a huge disconnect between how we treat different groups in this country who are not “self-sufficient.” When my aged parents are paralyzed by strokes, I won’t have to deal with them… Medicare will house them for free and change their diapers. Their yuppie children will not even have to sell the ancestral bungalow.

    Meanwhile, at the beginning of the life spectrum, parents are burdened with back-breaking 24 hour care of their “choices”.

    Just shopping with small children at Swedish-non-profit IKEA gives me a glimpse of that Euro-paradise where working Moms are subsidized to raise their children until age 3. At IKEA there is A 45-minute SUPERVISED playroom and — look here in the bathroom– small seats on the stall so that a crawling infant doesn’t have to be placed on the floor — like all the bathroom stalls in the rest of the US. A 99c hot dog for lunch, with a play area for the kids. Why can’t we just live there?

    You can judge the men of a country by how they treat their women and children. When I stand in line at the grocery store with small kids I am glared at by yuppies in a hurry (of both sexes). While their own children deserve the best, other people’s kids are just vermin.

    Jean Lotus

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