TED Conversations

Nelson Hyde Chick

This conversation is closed.

Preventing those that would be bad parents from becoming parents

Take a survey of our thousand most successful people about the parenting they received as children; then compare those experiences with the parenting received from our thousand worst criminals. The successful people will tell stories mostly of decent to great parenting, while the criminals will be telling stories about abandonment, abuse and neglect. Also, all those stories we read about people that were about to overcome the obstacles of poverty to go on to do great thing, they all had some good parenting in their past. Society’s worst problem is bad parenting.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jul 17 2013: My motives are to prevent the irresponsible among us from becoming parents because being a parent is the greatest responsibility any of us will have in our lives.
    • thumb
      Jul 18 2013: Hi Nelson,

      You seem to be advocating eugenics or euthenics, as you yourself formulate it. Here are two links:



      Just take a look.

      My question is - how will your thoughts or plans stop this? Will they? Isin't is violence and abuse, parental or not, that are the real issues? Examples you used in this conversation are actually exceptions, what is presented in the links above happens on a massive, global scale.

      When it comes to eugenics - the world has already "tried" that, think of Zeitgeist in the 1930's and before. Both Hitler and Roosevelt were into sterilisation, Roosevelt actually had an ambitious plan to sterilise the unemployed to stop their genes from spreading and stop bad parenting. Do you tolerate the thought of getting a vasectomy when threatened with losing your job?

      I agree that having a good parental figure is beneficial but a child's life expands beyond the family. Because of that I cannot agree that society's worst problem is bad parenting.

      Please read all comments in your conversation carefully and take a minute to reflect.
      • thumb
        Jul 18 2013: Nothing I propse has anything to do with genetics, so it is not eugenics, but it is euthenics. And euthenics is why you are taller and live longer today than your for fathers.
      • thumb
        Jul 18 2013: Also, what I am propsing would lessen violence against women by preventing the next generation of rapists from being born.
        • thumb
          Jul 18 2013: So what you need to look at is the military and governments, as history has shown, to prevent the next generations of them from being born...

          But seriously - preventing anybody from being born will not help, educating the ones who already have been born, not necessarily about euthenics but ethics, might.

          I do not fall for your proposition, it seems to be a radical simplification of the intricate, complicated world of human connections and dynamics, both within and outside the family, and what that does to both parents and children.

          "My motives are to prevent the irresponsible among us from becoming parents because being a parent is the greatest responsibility any of us will have in our lives."

          There are people among us that may seem irresponsible and turn into purest, moral gold the first time they see the eyes of their newborn children.
        • thumb
          Jul 19 2013: Hi again, Nelson.

          A thought came to my mind about a news story that went viral for a short time on the net some time ago. I'll mention this since you are here to discuss parenting, bad parenting, preventing bad parents from having children and you speak of violence towards women and that your idea would reduce it in future generations:

          I have to warn you that it's cruel. What happened is this - two policemen in on of the countries in the Middle East raided an apartment of a single mother and wanted to rape her 14-year-old daughter. The mother wanted to protect her and offered herself just to prevent the girl from trauma. What happened next was that the mother was imprisoned for adultery and the girl lost the only person that truly cared.

          The policemen probably went home to their own wives and children afterwards, maybe they were great parents there.

          It's s true story.

          My question is - who was the bad parent according to your criteria and who should take the consequences?

          Sorry for any discomfort caused.
      • Comment deleted

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.