Saturday, September 22, 2007

Teach the children?

On my way home from work the other day I overheard a conversation as I was boarding the very-crowded metro. We were packed in quite tightly, and just to my right and ahead of me a man with a baby strapped to his chest and a much shorter woman were discussing child care. The woman was mentioning her nanny, and the man was inquiring about the nanny’s qualities –

“I need someone who’s good at training and educating,” the woman said “because I’m just not good at that. I can do the basics, like feeding and such, but the training and educating kids need…I just can’t do that.”

“I know, us too,” the man said, “that’s why I was really glad the daycare had a place open up when she (indicating baby strapped to chest – facing outwards) turned 4 months old. Otherwise I’d have had to take a leave of absence. But my wife and I aren’t any good at the training and teaching either. We just do the basics, and then leave it up to the daycare. That’s what makes finding a good daycare so hard.”

Ok…exCUSE me???? I thought the “job” of a parent was to:

Main Entry: teach
Part of Speech: verb
Definition: educate
Synonyms: advise, brief, catechize, coach, communicate, cram, demonstrate, develop, direct, discipline, drill, edify, enlighten, exercise, explain, expound, fit, form, give instruction, give lessons, ground, guide, illustrate, imbue, impart, implant, improve mind, inculcate, indoctrinate, inform, initiate, instruct, interpret, lecture, nurture, open eyes*, polish up*, pound into*, prepare, profess, rear, school, sharpen, show, supply-teach, train, tutor

…to completely, or to their best ability be:

Main Entry: teacher
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: educator
Synonyms: advisor, assistant, babysitter, coach, disciplinarian, docent, don, educator, faculty member, governess, grind, guide, guru, instructor, lecturer, maestro, master, mentor, mistress, pedagogue, preceptor, prof, professor, pundit, scholar, schoolman, schoolmaster, schoolmistress, schoolteacher, slave driver, supervisor, swami, trainer, tutor

I know the saying “It takes a village to raise a child,” but I think the parents should be the first and foremost authority to the child. If they don’t think they can do the “training and educating” of THEIR OWN CHILD, then they shouldn’t reproduce. I basically understand that society has – in the past – asserted that a woman should get married and have children, that THAT was the woman’s role. And yes, that is a very good role, if one needs to propagate the species…but I think 6 billion humans are sufficient proof that our species isn’t going to die off any time soon. Besides, each and every woman should only do with her body what SHE wants to do, not what society tells her to do.

And as for having a child so “a part of you lives on” – that’s just an excuse one presents to cover up the feeling of “I have to get married and have children….isn’t that what EVERYONE should do?” There is no rule or law that says a married couple has to produce children. I don’t see anything wrong with people getting married and NOT having children. Yes, there is the question of “who will take care of me when I’m old and frail”…and the answer to that is – financial planning. It shouldn’t come as a shock that “eek, I’m old, now what do I do?” because age is inevitable (unless you’re met with an unfortunate accident or early death…then you don’t have to worry about anything) and one should plan accordingly.

Ahem… anyway. The whole point of this post is – Why are there so many stupid, unthinking, impatient, or unconcerned people reproducing?!?! I firmly believe there are smart, clever, loving people who are having kids...don't get me wrong. Not EVERYONE is a stupid drone reproducing because that's what society tells them they need to do to be fulfilled and to fulfill their role in life. But unfortunately, I'm seeing the drones out number the smarts more and more. And fewer of the smarts means dumber rules (remember the "no touching" I blogged on previously...). Just think what our world will be like in 2-3 generations...granted, we won't be here, but still. I worry about Mama earth...a lot.


Anithe said...

“I need someone who’s good at training and educating,” the woman said “because I’m just not good at that. I can do the basics, like feeding and such, but the training and educating kids need…I just can’t do that.”

I don't think I can comment too much on this without becoming incoherent, but boy, SOMEONE's got role reversal issues. Granted, my kids will need to find another source if they would like training in applied engineering, aeronautics, or college-level French, but I'm pretty sure that we'll be able to manage the rest.

wordwitch said...

I hear ya - it just about made me blow a gasket...I almost said something right there on the train, but then I thought "nah, it'd just bound off her head"....sigh.

xenu413 said...

Apologies for the necropost, but I gotta say you hit the nail on the head about societal expectations. My parents (and various others) have spoken about my future using terms like "when you have kids," and I kind of disconnect. I've even said to them I don't want kids, and at least one of them is still of the opinion that I will be a good father. And my reasoning is pretty much the same as what you've written here; there's enough of us on the planet, the government's not going to MAKE me have kids, and I'm not going to do it because I "have" to.


((Don't be thrown, the profile's fake, but it IS me))

wordwitch said...

Neph? Cool to know my family isn't ALL following the "norm". More power to ya. I knew when I was 14 I didn't want to have kids, and luckily for me, MY mom never pressed the subject. Stick to your guns, bucko. My whole theory is "just because you CAN breed doesn't mean you SHOULD."