It is more excusable to me that bad parenting existed a generation ago. Back then, there was no internet, no Dr. Spock or Wayne Dyer, no mountain of research from all corners of academia. The only touchstone parents had to go by was the example set by their own parents, and so on, back to the beginnings of child-rearing. Hopefully, we learn from the mistakes of our parents, but I suppose this doesn’t happen, if you’re never aware that mistakes were made.
These days, though, there is simply no excuse for bad parenting. Too much information is available to anyone who wishes to raise a child into a quality adult. Those old chestnuts, “If it was good enough for Mama, it’s good enough for me” and “My Daddy beat my ass all the time, and I turned out all right” don’t wash. For one thing, who decides what “Turning out all right” means? To wit:
You hit your kids; you humiliate them; you ignore them when they try to engage you; you place your needs before theirs; you don’t care how they’re doing academically, emotionally, spiritually or intellectually; you respond to their questions with irritation and impatience, you make no effort to better yourself or set an example; you give them no moral compass to emulate; you own only a hammer, so all problems look like nails.
But you turned out all right. Yeah. Uh-huh.
I think universities should offer entire programs in parenting. And I think the government should give tax breaks to parents-to-be who take specialized parenting classes.
And I think that ultimately, some people should just not breed.