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Amir Michail

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Parents should have no say in how their children are raised.

Children don't pick their parents, so why should their parents have any say in how they are raised?

Shouldn't society determine how all children are raised? At least they would fit very well into the society. Moreover, it's probably better to be raised in a way determined by an entire society rather than one determined by some random parents in that society.

A direct (not representative) democracy could be used to determine how a society raises all of its children. The resulting legally binding parenting guide could change over time.

Sure, not all children are the same. But the parenting guide could take that into account.

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    Feb 16 2011: As a parent, I think your idea is flawed. Parents raise their children their own way and this leads to interesting diversity in society. Raising children in state-sanctioned ways has been tried in real-world dictatorships and in fictional dystopias and it never works out well. By living in a family and picking up core skills and values, children turn into humans beings that function in a society, as an extension of the healthy bonds and attitudes they formed within their family. That's precisely why people with 'bad childhoods' are a societal problem.

    You suggest individual parents and families could adhere to a guide and that would lead to identical socially acceptable outcomes. It won't. Even parents who try to adhere perfectly will still read it differently and the guide would have to allow for so many exceptions for different types of kids that there is simply no practical way that education and outcome in two households would be identical. The only way identical outcomes could be achieved is by brainwashing kids outside of the family unit and turning them into drones. And that's just wrong.

    If you are referring to parents who are given the freedom to do truly harmful things to their children in the name of choice, then I'm with you. But those 'guides' already exist. Female circumcision, abuse, beating and torturing, denying school/education etc. are already illegal in most civilized countries. The law serves as a negative guide on how not to raise children. Other parenting guides help us to fill that in in a positive way in keeping with our own shared values and unique style.
  • Mar 4 2011: 1-In the majority of the cases, children do pick their parents. What other options do they have? Will you expend the tremendous energy necessary to raise someone else's child? Therefore, given the choice children would and definitely should, from a simply selfish perspective, pick their parents.
    2-Societies are in the end the ones that decide how to raise the child (in the majority of the cases, that is). A society that practices female genital mutilation dictates to the parents to do the same, with an unfortunate ratio of success. A society that has very restrictive religious or ideological guidelines dictates their will on the parents along with their children.
    3-It is worth exploring point # 2 above by challenging your very question. Now get ready for some nasty questions here. Why exactly don't parents own their children. Aren't they the ones who 'made' them? Shouldn't that be the strongest right of ownership? Agreed, it should probably be the mother not the father.
    I'd assume the typical answer would be that a human being cannot be owned. But why exactly is that? (This question is much more relevant for a worldview where there is no inherent sanctity in humans and where humans are robots just like the rest of the known universe. )
    Then again, in a country where capital punishment is practiced it would seem that society has appropriated to itself the ownership of an individual. For capital punishment surely isn't just a form of self-defense. It is obviously a claim to the right of executing decisions on a private individual.

    All in all, your question is surely a great springboard for many important issues.

    Thanks,
  • Jul 21 2011: It would depend on how the society wants its children to be raised. Where I live, every child is self-importance, and knows nothing of the problems of the world. They're all obsessed with immediate satisfaction. Sex, and booze. No ambition.

    For some reason, my society seems to have no problem with this. I would disagree, in this case, and hope (for the sake of humanity) that atleast 1 or 2 parents decided to bring their children up to not be ignorant.
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    Jun 27 2011: how weird. you start off by saying that parents has no rights to control the child's life. then you propose a system in which all adults have collective rights to control children's life. this is a contradiction. if the adults have no rights to interfere with the children, their collective also does not have.
  • Jun 27 2011: Parents should have somewhat of a say of how their children are raised but to a certain extent. It depends on how and who you're child is. Based on their personality you should raise them in accordance to.
  • Feb 17 2011: "Because it's my child. It came from me, it's mine, I get to decide what to do with it."
    Not my opinion (I'm not old enough for having a child) But I think it's easy to understand that a parent doesn't want someone else to raise their child for them. And maybe "raising their child for them" is far from what you meant but that's probably how it's going to be perceived by the parents that wants to raise their child in a way that goes against this directive. Of course there is a right and wrong when it comes to raising children but to legally force people to raise their kids in a specific way is kind of trampling all over peoples private lives. Most countries have laws against child abuse and parents that are too unfit for raising children get their children taken from them. I don't see any good reason to change this into a system where the "direct democracy" decides how to raise your child. What if I live in a nation/state full of idiots?
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    Feb 16 2011: This should be in the debate section, rather than the idea section.

    A child needs individual attention, which only a mother or a father can provide. Look at nature. Do you think the society of goriilas raise gorrilla children ? Absolutely no ! Why would one need to put into place a system that is SO artificial so as to ruin the growth of a child ? Disagree totally .
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    Feb 16 2011: first of all , family is the main atom of the community. actually it's a small community itself.
    ok I got a question for you . Do you think by following you idea, then will there be any development or raising in any community?? if its individuals are just copies of each others (since you are thinking of raising the kids same way) , yea i know every kid has his own personality , but do you think this personality will not fade after this huge attempt to fuse this person with a community he didn't pick in the first place ??
    plus, here we go back to the first point, the kid hasn't picked his community either so it's not more fair to get him raised by his community rather than his family.

    and I will quote a sentence from my Kris here as she says :
    "If you are referring to parents who are given the freedom to do truly harmful things to their children in the name of choice, then I'm with you".