Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Oh, where did I put that high horse?

I know, I know... I owe you some FOs. I have them, but a work trip at the end of this week is keeping me on my toes and off my ass, which is how i do 90% of my knitting. Today, though, you are being treated to one of Mini's rambles. Complete without photos. Sorry.

*Note: thanks to all the well wishes. My mom and Rascal, the wonder mutt, are doing fine. *

It all started at 6:10am today. I was drinking my coffee and watching for our favorite weather guy: Jeremy Reiner on Channel 7. The newscaster lady said "Spanking to become illegal in MA." Huh? Spanking as an illegal activity? Now, I am NOT an advocate of child abuse or even over-spanking your child, but isn't parenting supposed to be a personal choice? The first thought that popped into my head: I think I need to stop this. Seriously. I don't have children. yet. But, I do have several philosophies on life and childrearing that I hold dear to me: one, children should be spanked for egregious malicious errors in judgment and two, how I raise my kids has nothing to do with you. I do understand the "violence begets violence" argument ( I am not looking for that here, thank you very much), but I also know that mild forms of corporal punishment have been used for ages and up until recently, we had a generation of kids who obeyed rules and respected authority. One of the largest reasons I do not teach ( I am licensed) is this: kids have no respect for property, people or authority.

My favorite example of "PC parenting gone bad" happened to me a few years ago. I was in my hometown, in a grocery store parking lot, in my car. I had checked all around me and began to back up. I saw something red flash in the passenger side view mirror and I slammed on my brakes, popped the car into park and ran out. I saw a 3 year old standing behind my car. By. Himself. His parents were idly waltzing through the parking lot 5 rows away. I asked him if he was ok and the mom freaked out b/c I was talking to him! I asked her what she was thinking letting a TODDLER run loose in a parking lot. Her response? "We don't believe in setting boundaries for him." Well, lady... do you believe in birthdays? Because he almost didn't have a next one!

That parent's skills were questionable to me. (and dangerous to her child) Nonetheless, I have to respect her right to raise her child as she sees fit. As she is the parent. Not me. Yes, I wish everyone taught their kid table manners and not to stick their fingers in my food at restaurants (yes, they weren't even sitting at my table, little Johnny just reached over and fondled my food), but you as the parents have the right to raise your kids as you see fit. I see a very slippery slope here: when does it stop? When does it become a problem to raise your child as deeply religious? What about raising them without faith? What about sending them to daycare? What about not giving them music lessons? At what point, do you want the state in your house saying "umm.. No, according to Massachusetts State Law 901.35 section 2, Kimberly cannot be sent to bed without dessert for biting her sister. That's neglect." Studies have shown that not breastfeeding your child has a potential for different developmental concerns (obesity, poor immune defense in year one, etc). Will the state tell me I need to breastfeed my kids? Honestly, I'd like one of the men on Beacon Hill tell me what to do with my nipples (how's that for a google hit?).

I grew up with a mom who could make 3 rowdy overtired kids instant angels with one look. You know the look. Every mom has one. I always joke that the threat of the spanking was worse than the actual deed and I think I am right. I pray to God that I never have to lay a hand on my child, but should I be sent to jail if I do? And where does it end? Official "timeout" rules? "No more than 5 minutes per child per day??

I don't think child abuse is a laughing matter, but neither is the loss of rights as parents or humans. If you live in Massachusetts and pay taxes (if you don't, keep a low profile!)-- let this man know that you aren't prepared to let him decide how to raise your kids. Let him know that a nurse in Arlington and a "say anything" yes-man from Beacon Hill are not going to decide how you teach your child, raise your child, discipline your child. Tell him "enough is enough!" Stay out of our families!

*Rant ended. Knitting this week. I promise.*

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