Social Question

josie's avatar

Is it fair to assume that parents will eventually become obsolete?

Asked by josie (30931points) April 11th, 2011

This article got me to thinking.
http://www.aolnews.com/2011/04/11/chicago-school-bans-bag-lunches-to-get-kids-to-eat-less-junk-foo/
It seems that increasingly, when it comes to children, parents are being nudged out of the picture by one busy-body or another.
A note from parent is not an adequate excuse for school absence.
Somebody else teaches kids how to drive.
Somebody else teaches kids sex ed
Somebody else decides if proper medical treatment is being given to the kids
No parental consent required for birth control pills or abortion.
(NOTE: The post is not about abortion. I don’t care who gets abortions or why.)
In fact, now that I think about it, parents don’t even need to have each other to be parents.
And now, this article.
All over the world, there are good parents and bad ones.
I guess, because of the fact that there are some bad ones, somebody decided that all parents, good or bad, are simply not up to the task. If the trend continues, will parents become obsolete?

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15 Answers

seekingwolf's avatar

Many parents still teach their kids to drive, about sex ed, etc.

Our society has had to “pick up the slack” in terms of sex ed and other things in schools because some parents really suck and aren’t teaching their kids these things. However, doing so doesn’t ever take the place of a GOOD parent. Children with good parents will always grow up better than those who have bad/absent parents and are raised in the “system”. This always holds true.

So in this regard, no, parents aren’t obsolete.

meiosis's avatar

No, parents aren’t obsolete.

YARNLADY's avatar

What? Where is love on your list? That is the most important thing parents give their kids.

Seaofclouds's avatar

No, parents won’t become obsolete. In regards to the article, I think the schools are in a hard position because they get so much pressure about what children are eating at school and about providing nutritious meals. I don’t agree with banning children from bringing in lunches from home, but I could understand wanting to have a ban on candy and sodas.

As far as driver’s education goes, that depends on the state and school. Not all states have a driver’s education program in school. Also, parents had to agree to allow their children to take driver’s education (at least when I was in school). My parents taught me to drive before I started driver’s education in school.

I don’t know if my parents had to consent to me being taught sexual education in school, but I know I’ve been given lots of notice every time there is going to be any kind of health discussion (even just about basics) and the option to have my child not participate if I did not want him to. Personally, I feel the more education he can get, the better. I already have my plans of what I will teach him and if I need to correct something he hears at school, at least it gives us a starting point for the discussion.

As far as birth control and abortions for teenagers go, each state has it’s own laws about what that age is. Sometimes I don’t agree with healthcare providers not even being able to tell parents that their 14-year-old is pregnant, but that’s the way it is in some places. I believe it’s more to encourage young girls to seek help than to undermine a parent’s position.

optimisticpessimist's avatar

Parents will only become obsolete if they allow it. Considering the response in the article, I do not think they are allowing it.

As far as the article goes, banning junk food in bag lunches would be the way to go instead of forcing all kids to eat school lunches.

CBrennan15's avatar

I don’t think it’s “fair to assume.” That’s a large assumption.

Alluding to @YARNLADY, I don’t see anything taking the place of parental advice/care/love. To be honest the examples you gave are instances in which parents aren’t necessarily essential. When it comes to sex, kids learn that from other places, be it television, film, internet, etc.

Driving is in the same realm…plus who says our parents are good drivers to begin with?

Other people may teach kids some aspects, skills, trades, what have you…but I don’t think there will ever be a substitute for fatherly advice or motherly love.

jca's avatar

If parents became obsolete, the babies would have to drive themselves home from the hospital and cook their own meals, do their own laundry and sing themselves to sleep!

BarnacleBill's avatar

The absence of parents is nothing new. I do a lot of historical research, and have found that prior to the 20th century, blended families were quite common. Often what happened, a couple would marry and have children. The husband might die, and the wife remarries and has more children with the second husband. When this happened, the assets from the first husband’s estate passed to the second husband in most cases. The wife would die, and the husband would keep his own children, but the children from the first marriage would either be packed off to relatives or bound out as endentured help to the neighbors for terms of 3— 5 years as farm help, apprentices, or servants. Occasionally they would pass to relatives, who would send them to a boarding school where they would work off their tuition.

The worst situation was in the late 1800s when immigrants would come over, and the husband or wife would immediately die of cholera or influenza. The surviving parent would either lack the language skills to find enough work to support themselves and their children, or the assets to purchase a farm, and the children would be placed in an orphanage. The 1870’s and 1880’s saw the rise of Catholic orphanages, and German Benevolent Aid Societies to take care of abandoned children.

Cupcake's avatar

Sure, if you believe a parent’s role is to make rules.

But I don’t believe that. While discipline is certainly important, a parent’s most important job is to instill character… to provide a laboratory at home in which the children can experiment and grow and learn how to deal with the rest of the world. They make mistakes, we help them process them and make a different plan of action for the next time. Then they make another mistake. Meanwhile we make parenting mistakes and they forgive us. All of this wrapped up in safety, security, love and discipline.

This can be replicated, to some degree, by teachers, counselors, politicians, law-makers, public health officials, etc, but not completely. Kids need parents.

WestRiverrat's avatar

There have been several societies in the last century that believed parents should not raise their children, the State could do a much better job.

Most of them fortunately have not met with much success.

Pandora's avatar

I don’t think parents will become obsolete. I understand the point you are making however with each of those things, there are reasons behind them.
1.The note from the parent. You would be surprise how skilled kids are at copying their parents signatures when they really want to skip school.
2. Drivers ed and sex ed usually comes with some permission slip required (from parents) depending on the state. Plus parents can always ask the school to not enroll their child in such classes. They are not mandatory. They carry the same weight as an art class.
But as for driving, I appreciate that. Their car comes with a break for the instructor so he can stop the car if necessary. Even after my son had the class I had to teach him to drive a stick and it was like doing it all over again from scratch. Also taught my daughter. If I had the money back then, I would’ve paid someone else to teach them. All my friends would volunteer and they they quit after one time. LOL. Not everyone is made to handle the experience of a new driver.
3. Birth control. Whether we like it or not kids will have sex with or without protection. If permission was needed from a parent than their would be a lot more babies and disease. As it is most young teens won’t get birth control because they are too embarrassed to ask for it.
In those cases it is the examples you set at home as a parent that carries the most weight.
If they respect their parents they will be less likely to do things to jepordize the relationship by doing something that will cause distrust and disappointment.
4. Now as for food. I have to agree that a great deal of parents do not take the time to see to their childs health needs but I don’t think that others should get involved in something that is not their business. If that school is so concerned than they should offer nutrition classes to children and show them the benefits to a healthier life style. Maybe have a day where they introduce new healthy tasty foods to children so they can decide for themselves and give them the reciepes for them. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. I use to skip lunch at my school plenty of times when they served crappy stuff. They are just going to have a lot of tired, hungry kids, sneaking candy bars in between classes. This is a battle they will lose. Children can be stubborn when they feel forced to do something.

josie's avatar

@Pandora
But aren’t you just restating my question details?
Because it (and you) can argue that parents simply are not doing a very good job, the Political State feels compelled to jump in and do it in their stead.

I won’t get into the fact that the Political State is generally inhabited by the corrupt, the criminal, the clueless, and the incompetent.

The State takes lots of people’s money, thus their power, and it has all the jail cells, and a monopoly on the use of force. Tough to beat that.
So if the Political State decides that parents need to be replaced in one area, why not all?
And who can stop them from doing it?
Thus, my question.

jca's avatar

@josie: When you ask “Why not all? And who can stop them from doing it?” do you really honestly think the government’s goal is to take everyone’s children away?

Pandora's avatar

@josie Money is the main motivator from having the state take over. There are children that are constantly returned to unfit parents. Drug addicts and abusive parents. There aren’t enough social workers and the work is stressful. The governments main goal is to get the kid out of their hands and back into custody of these parents. Teachers already regret the role of parent they sometimes have to play with children who are in their care.
Even when you like the kids you don’t want that role. You already have a life and the added complication of mothering or fathering other children can be overwhelming.
I think this is a bit of a stretch. If someone is really so concern with the public school programs than they are more than welcome to always teach their children at home or put them in a private school they prefer.
If this academy is a private school than it can make any changes it wants, and the parents have the right to disenroll their child since they are paying for them to be there.
This feels a little bit like Chicken Little. “The Sky is Falling, The Sky is Falling.”

mattbrowne's avatar

Foster parents are parents too.

Babies don’t survive without parents. They simply die.

So the answer is: no

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