When a person becomes a parent, something significant happens. You are responsible for another living being, who did not ask to be here.
With that being the case, it becomes your job to make sure that that child thrives. Understand that thriving means more than feeding, cleaning and keeping a roof over the child’s head. Humans need much more to develop into functioning, capable being. The need physical warmth, emotional warmth, understanding, cognitive stimulation and a constant bombardment of moral lessons.
Just to touch on that last one; when I say moral lessons, I don’t mean drag that child to church every Sunday, so that they understand that if they touch themselves demons will drag them to hell.
By moral bombardment, I mean this and it’s fairly simple. Treat others like you want to be treated. It is so basic, yet so fleeting in society that if one really looks at the ill of our world, you can see that they all stem from people’s inability to abide by that basic sentiment.
But I digress…
When it comes to raising children, parent’s need to be is an advocate for their children. Yes, an advocate. Someone to speak for them and their true best interests, because they are too young and inexperienced to do it for themselves. It is the most basic obligation, and the simplest that gets fucked up the most often.
Here are two real life examples of how failing to properly advocate for your child can damage them.
The names and places have been changed to protect both the stupid and the innocent.
A mother takes her three year old son to a trampoline park. Now at three, even though toddlers are walking, they still do a fair amount of stumbling and falling; and that’s just walking on flat surfaces. In her defense, these trampoline parks claim to have no age limitations, but if you go to the website and read the rules, there are a lot of clear indicators that a three year old shouldn’t be there. The biggest red flag for me is when it tells you that people of different weights should not jump together. If a heavier person jumps near a lighter person, the recoil can send the lighter individual catapulting away uncontrolled. Lastly, it’s a trampoline park, and most people aren’t gymnasts, so most people are stumbling around like toddlers.
Someone fell on this three your old, and landed on his leg. The child is crying in pain.
At this point is where child advocacy should activate. What is the proper course of action, if you are to advocate for your child?
In my opinion, she should have left the park and immediately take the child to the emergency department, especially if the child never calms.
What actually did happen? She took the child home.
As the night wore on, the child continued to cry in pain; and the mother wants to take the child to the emergency department is thwarted by dad, who proclaims that there’s nothing wrong with the child. And that they should put some ice on it.
Here is the next point where child advocacy should activate. What is the proper course of action, if you are to advocate for your child?
My child is crying in pain, after someone larger fell on him. Fuck you! I’m taking him to emergency department. And fuck you for not being concerned enough to back me wanting to take him.
But none of that happened, the young child cried all night and was taken to the emergency department in the morning; where they finally discovered that his leg was fracture in two places: the femur and just below the knee.
One doesn’t become a parent, just by reproducing. Everything that makes you a parent comes after that. The sheer act of conception, gestation and delivery are nothing but a list of the biological processes need to produce a living being.
You, as a parent, get called to the school, because your child is misbehaving, and you go. When you arrive, you are told that your child has behavior issues and needs to be moved to another class.
Here is your first opportunity to advocate for your child. And you can do it in a number of ways; the easiest would be to ask questions.
What has my child done?
What are the issues?
What is this other class that you want to move him to?
But the first thing you should do is ask your child what happened? If you do that, what you will find out is that another student, a girl, tried to take your son’s own toy from him, and when he wouldn’t let her, a fight broke out. You would also find out that she has done this before, but your son was never believed.
A little observation might lead you to discover that this little girl is a more favorable demographic than you and your child, during a time (the 80s) when everyone thought race relations were improving, but the racism had become closeted and institutionalized.
But I digress…
You don’t do any that. You don’t ask any of those questions. instead, you take your son’s hand and walk in him down to the behaviorally and emotionally handicapped class, where he is left in the presence of students, who have far worse issues than standing up for themselves. All the while telling him he’s going to a better class, because he so smart.
You leave your child in the hands of a teacher, who would much rather spend the day beating the children for minor infractions, rather than encouraging them.
Many of the cruelties experienced in this class could have been revealed merely by asking a few questions, but you do not.
As grammar school lapses into middle school, which lapses into high school, you then take interest asking questions about what your child wants to do when they graduate. Asking the child if they want to pursue the medical field like you. Showing nothing, but disappointment when you are regarded with indifference. Especially since the intellect that needed to be nurtured has been languishing without guidance, labeled as behaviorally and emotionally handicapped, or retarded, as the supposed functional school children would say.
Some of you may say… you’re being harsh. No one’s perfect. No one’s the perfect parent. Maybe they’re doing the best they could.
Maybe… Or maybe that best isn’t good enough.
Maybe before you indulge in the joy of depositing or receiving semen; or better yet, actively seek out a child to adopt, one should stop and ask themselves…. Am I capable of advocating for another human being? Am I capable of putting the needs of someone who never asked to be born above my own?
If you can look into your heart and answer no, I cannot. Then spare yourself. Put on the condom. Take the birth control pill. Let another family raise the child that you’re incapable of supporting.
Parenting is advocacy.
It isn’t an easy thing. But it’s the right thing.
Maybe you were fortunate enough to have someone to advocate for you when you were a child.
You are obligated to do the same for your offspring.
Isn’t that how you’d want to be treated?