Here's his latest:
"Thanks for entertaining my comments. I must admit my instincts as a teacher limits me from being able to gloss over unsubstantiated comments or points. So when there is simple ranting, sometimes I don't see it as such. Forgive me.
I just read that NY times article and the only "Truth" to be found is that criminals are criminals. It in no way parallels your overgeneralizations on parenting. She makes no case as to why or how parents should be licensed, she just puts up these examples of criminal or "overtired" neglectful parents. Does that mean all parents need licenses? No. It just means all criminals, who happen to be parents, act criminally. Her case is not that all parents act criminally/neglectful.
Here is my response to your last email in the parenting strand:
PL - 'So many political and religious bloviators talk about the 'sanctity' of marriage...'
Ok, now I see your real motivation here. It wasn't as clear to me the first time. I completely disagree with the notion that the sanctity of marriage should be ignored or even minimized. If fact, in the Catholic and Episcopalian religions require couples to go through some paces, BEFORE MARRIAGE, to further examine their commitment to it. I would expect you would applaud any organization that would support couples in examioning their relationship before they make it permanent. Should people stay in an abusive marriage because of it’s sanctity? No. Should people run for the hills at the first sign of trouble? No. As usual, there needs to be a reasonable balance.
PL - '...I am making my cause here is to stop the idealization of parenthood and treat it as we do any other significant 'occupation' that impacts on the welfare of our society, and subject the rearing of children to at least the minimum amount of scrutiny we give to the water pressure in our showers!'
Agreed. There are regulations for showers that are universal so the thing works. All plumbers need the same tools + stock and they have to be trained on only certain modes of assembly or leaks will be aplenty. However, when dealing with children or even people, I believe there are basically 4 different "types". Hippocrates categorized these types and were later redefined. (I'm sure there is research that could prove more or less types and it would take too much time to explain all of these but the point being, that there are different types of people).
If you accept that there are different people, you must accept that there are different ways of "parenting", "teaching" and "counseling". I will speak to teaching. I can't teach/motivate one student the same way I teach/motivate others. Some may be visual learners, others may be auditory, others may be verbal and others may be experiential. If I taught only in one mode, 75% of my students would not learn as easily as the students who love that one method. Can the others learn? Maybe, but it requires more work. Can I write or throw a baseball with my opposite hand? Yes, but it is difficult and the results are not the same. Ditto for learning.
Back to parenting. I ask those of us who have siblings to remember if the same approach used by our parents worked equally on us all? Did our parents treat us all the same? Did different approaches produce different results? There is much research on the birth order and personality/characteristics. Some need constant + harsh rules, others only need to be told once, still others need a different approach. Each of our parents has their own "tools" and different "water leaks". At the end of the day, if the shower works, all is well. I do not see how we could "TRY" to regulate, license or control parenting. There are too many types and what is right for one child may be totally wrong for another. Conversely, not all parents can "teach" in the same mode. I like the question because there really is no true answer. There can be no Truth with the exception of the outcome – happy, balanced + loved children. whatever gets you there is the "True" way.
Thanks for the opportunity Pete! There is more to follow......."
Thank you, Rick. I do wish more people gave this much thought to all of these subjects. I'm only going to say one short thing in response. The point I'm making isn't meant to be literal or technical as far as an actual licensing process for parenting is concerned. My point is that many people enter into parenting more haphazardly and with less forethought or capability or preparedness than they do many other less crucial things in life. People too often have kids to fulfill an image in their heads, a fairy tale from childhood that cannot be realized, and the kids suffer for it. That's it.