Monday, August 28, 2006
I was talking with a friend about the state of affairs in our world today, the number of middle school and high school kids who seem to think drinking and/or drugs and/or sex are the top forms of recreation, the lack of respect many kids have for adults (heck, for themselves even), the lack of responsibility (personal and societial), and other such stuff that "old" people talk (re: gripe) about. We came to the conclusion (nonscientifically) that one of the big problems is a lack of good, solid parenting skills. We decided that any idiot can have sex, BUT any idiot should NOT be able to become a parent. So, if I was queen o' the world, there would be classes - several classes, years of classes - that you'd have to take and pass, and some sort of internship you'd have to complete before you would be given the physical ability to have children. I'm thinkin' the curriculum could be something like this:
Parenting 101 - Where Did I Put The Baby?
Unit #1: You will learn the absolute and paramount importance of responsibility, and have to prove such before you may advance to the next class. You will be required to complete the old standby "this egg is your child" task for a minimum of 4 weeks, which you will have to repeat ad nauseum until you pass the unit.
Unit #2: You will be given a small dog which you must take care of for 4 weeks; you must feed it, play with it, walk it, let it out when it needs to go out, clean up all messes caused by failing the previous-listed task, and, above all else, not let it loose, ever. Lose the dog and you will fail this unit, have to buy a replacement dog, and repeat the unit.
Unit #3: You will work in a daycare for 4 weeks under the strict supervision of a professional, helping with the babies and toddlers as you are directed. You must do EVERYTHING you are told to, including dirty-diaper duty, clean-up-puke duty, feed-the-children duty, read-to-the-children duty, play-with-the-children duty, clean-up-after-the-children duty, and, the most important task of all, don't-lose-or-misplace-any-of-the-children duty. As with the previous 2 units, you must pass this unit or repeat it until you do. And if you misplace a child, you must FIND the misplaced child and repeat the entire class, at least 10 times, before you will pass.
Unit #5: You would be placed in a home with a newborn and have to complete 4 weeks of sleepless or sleep-interrupted nights, constant feedings, trying to comfort a baby and not knowing what the heck he/she wants, and still living your life - cooking, cleaning, paying bills, interacting with other adults in a coherent manner....
I'm thinking there should be at least 5 classes, a semester to a year in length, that you must complete before you are given the ability to create a child (guess I need to come up with some scientific stuff here that would shut down that ability completely to procreate in both males and females until all courses are passed - oh! wouldn't that be great!?):
Parenting 201: The Terrible Twos...Threes...Fours...Fives....
This class would deal with toddlers, temper tantrums, boundary setting, the importance of routine, and follow-through (you know, actually doing what you tell the child you're going to do if they act out again). The concepts of boundary setting, routine, and follow-through are probably the MOST important lessons you MUST learn, so this class would be at least a year, and the lessons learned in this class MUST be demonstrated and used correctly in all following classes, or the entire rotation will have to be repeated.
Parenting 301: Toys, Teaching, Tantrums, Towing-the-line....this would deal with prepubescents; Parenting 401: Fitting In, Growing Up, Finding Yourself....this would deal with young teens (oh my, that would take at least a year, I'd say); Parenting 501: So You Think You're An Adult?!....this cap-stone course would be dealing with older teens/young adults (another year-long class, I'd say).
The Internship would be a year, with you shadowing successful parents of a baby, a toddler, a prepubescent, a young teen, and an older teen/young adult in 2.4-month rotations. Each parental unit would evaluate you, and you would pass the class ONLY if all 5 parental units had passed you. The Internship year would have to be repeated in full if even 1 of the parental units failed you.
And ONLY after you had passed all the classes and the Internship with flying colors, could you even CONSIDER becoming a parent, and be given the physical ability to do so.
Yep, if I was queen o' the world, that's what I'd do....
Posted by Dorrene BrownButterfield at 8:25 PM