Monday, June 30, 2008

Call for a Parents' Liberation Movement

Here's a quote from an article entitled Why we need a parents' liberation movement, on, which is so relevant for us in New Zealand today.

'Lecturing or hectoring' parents has become the only vocabulary in town, as parents are sternly instructed that they will be issued with Parenting Orders if their children play truant too much, drink too much, or generally behave 'anti-socially'.

From midwives and hospitals at a baby's birth to schools, parents are given a bewildering amount of information and exhortation about what to feed their children, how to touch their children, what to talk to their children about, and how to exercise their civic responsibilities in recycling and rubbish management. There no longer seems to be any sense that society-at-large should treat parents with the minimum respect, let alone the reverence that was once accorded the nuclear family. On the contrary – parents can be told to do anything, so long as it is 'for the sake of the children.'

State intervention is no longer geared towards keeping the family together, but on constructing direct relationships between the state and each family member – mother, father, each separate child. The autonomy of the family, once considered so crucial to its effective functioning, is now treated as a barrier to the therapeutic dynamic, which seeks to break down family member's reliance upon one another, substituting an official 'partner' for a parent.

How did we get to this point, so quickly and with so little opposition?"

Thanks to Ruby Harrold Claesson for the link to this article.

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