Google+ Authentic Parenting: Freedom Of Choice, To What Extent?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Freedom Of Choice, To What Extent?

Freedom of choice generally concerns individual choices. Legislation jumps in to ensure that your choices as an individual do not harm another individual's freedom.

When it comes to parenting, the choices we make are not merely choices that influence ourselves, they are choices we make FOR our children, parenting choices are choices made by one individual over another individual.

Now let's take a look at the 'choices' a parent gets to make and if they would translate to the adult world:

You cannot terminate a life unless the person in question has distinctly asked for it and only under closely described circumstances. You can, however, start your child's life early, just because your doctor wants to finish his shift early or you have prior engagements.

You can drink alcohol but you cannot force alcohol onto another. You cannot be drunk in public nor can your drinking hinder other people's activities.
You can take legal drugs, but you cannot force anyone to take drugs, or sell them without license.
You can smoke but your smoking shouldn't hinder others or put their health in danger (ie no smoking in public spaces).
You can, however, get an epidural if you do not want to feel anything during childbirth and force those drugs through your child's system.
You can, however, give your child substandard, chemical food that actually harms them.

You cannot maim or mutilate total strangers, at the risk of imprisonment or worse but you can cut off pieces of your child's genitals.

If you tap your secretary's ass it's sexual abuse. If you smack a stranger in the face, it's battery. If you smack your child's butt, it's education?

And all this under the loud and proud banner of 'Freedom Of Choice'.

What about our children's choice?
If they had the choice, do you think your children would choose to come into this world before they are ready? Do you think they would choose corporal punishment? Do you think they would want to come into this world on drugs? Would they choose bland formula or breast milk? Would they want their body parts cut off, or would they prefer to stay whole?

Seen from their point of view, any sane person would know the answer to these questions and revisit the 'choices' that are dangling before our parenting eyes.
Making these choices are hardly ever in the child's best interest (of course there are always exceptions, but these are rare and I am talking about choice here, not about being unable to breastfeed or emergency c-sections) They are selfish choices, no matter how you look at them.
Parenting is not about being selfish. It is about doing what is best for your child, sometimes at the expense of your own needs and desires. If you desire to lead a selfish and selfcentered life, having children might not be the best choice.


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