The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area



Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > Having children is a privilege > Comments

Having children is a privilege : Comments

By Brian Holden, published 19/12/2008

If we cannot do anything effective about abusive environments, then why allow people to bring children into them in the first place?

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. All
Yes its quite strange isnt it.

Being a parent is the most demanding function that one can perform. It is a 24/7 demand---and at least for 18 years or so.

And yet we hardly ever get any real education in how to do it. TV soaps anyone!

There used to be a kind of tradition handed on my intact families, especially extended families where all kinds of help and advice, and different attitudes too, was available.

These days many young people become parents without ever having seen or witnessed on a consistent basis how it is done. Because they havent grown up in a functioning family---nuclear or extended. They have never learnt any parenting skills. Or even life skills re how to function productively every day by going to work for instance.

You read perhaps anecdotal stories of teenager girls having babies so that they (the girl) can have someone to love them---talk about nieve
Posted by Ho Hum, Friday, 19 December 2008 10:01:10 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Brian Holden's article is ill-considered, shallow and, ultimately, obnoxious.

"As the explanation of the abuser is invariably; ďI just snappedĒ...Wrong. There are many other explanations including manipulation of vulnerable children; being under the influence of drugs; mental illness; leaving the child with inadequate supervision; etc. There are oodles of research reports around in this area which Holden has never read.

"... should a newborn ever be permitted to enter a domestic environment which is exceptionally vulnerable to being stressed? " Even conceding the (patently false) premiss, how can we predict which 'domestic environment' is 'exceptionally vulnerable to being stressed'? Would the Government enter every household (before or during pregnancy) to run assessments?

"If the bottom line is that no battering of small children is tolerable under any circumstances [a wonderful idea] then society can act in two ways:

we could directly move the newborn at a high risk, from the maternity unit to a safe home; or
we could interfere with the biological ability of a high-risk person to be a parent."

Both options - and Holden simplistically gives us just two - are fraught on the grounds of the enormity of the problems of assessment, and the assumption that high risk invariably concludes in abuse, not to mention the 100 year history of abuse in out-of-home-care.

"During the years of the Stolen Generation, probably an equal number of unmarried, young, white mothers were not permitted to take their babies home from the hospital." True, see the long-term consequences in the Senate Report of Forgotten Australians (2004).

"Some were placed with foster parents - and had good lives - while others were left to face the experience of being a ward of the state. As wards of the state, many were not safe." Another false dichotomy. Abuse in foster homes was rampant and there is no evidence to suggest that a fostered child was any safer than an institutionalised one.

Holden obviously has no qualms about compulsory sterilisation. Nor did Hitler, who developed fail-safe criteria for determining which potential parents were high risk.

What an obnoxious post.
Posted by Spikey, Friday, 19 December 2008 10:54:45 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Thank you for the last post. This person really has not looked into any of the issues and is giving a very base line argument, which is quite disturbing. And yes Hitler came to mind as well. yuck, does this person like people? The other strange thing I don't understand is the idea that the environment can't change. Why? It constantly changes. In the past child abuse was often unseen or talked about, but now it is all becoming more transparent and we are hearing about it more, which is a good thing. When we bring it out in the open, we slowly decrease the ability for people to hide what they do.

And I always find it difficult when people just say... take the new born away. I have worked in familiy support, am a social worker, have Masters in mental health and alcohol and other drug use. Taking children way is not only traumatic for the parents, but the child. And where are all of these people willing to take on children? And how do we know they will be better parents. There is a huge shortage of foster parents. Some children are put in juvenile detention becasue their is no where for them to go. Oh the pain we cause children becasue of this argument.

If only he knew how hurtful what he is saying is. How would he feel if one of his friends or relatives had their child taken away or were made sterile. Yuck. Have we not heard about the Stolen Generation. What pain we have caused so many people. It will take generations for the pain to heal.

And how would people take it if someone came up to them and said "you have to be sterilised". Are we just giving up on people? That's it you have somehow done something that may make you in someones eyes a risk, so goodbye to you and your offspring. Yuck...
Posted by Till, Friday, 19 December 2008 11:27:23 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Less drastically, we might scrap the "baby bonus" which is likely to be more of an incentive to have another child for dysfunctional parents than for those in more stable situations. Those who become habitual criminals, drug users and long-term unemployed come largely from dysfunctional families. Why actively encourage such families to have more children?

The gains from early-childhood intervention in the US come almost entirely from reducing the likelihood that children in dysfunctional families will go to gaol and increasing the chance of them being in employment. Such intevrentions aren't necessary for the vast majority of children in more functional settings.
Posted by Faustino, Friday, 19 December 2008 12:13:04 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Rather than banning some people from keeping their children, let's go the whole hog and make it mandatory to obtain a child-rearing licence before allowing them to take possession of an infant. In NSW we now have a licensing system for car drivers which requires them to drive under supervision for 100 hours before being allowed in a vehicle alone. Yet any new parent is allowed to take their baby home from hospital without a minute's training, and do severe mental and physical damage to it with virtually no risk of being caught or punished. Is the damage you can do to a baby that much less than the damage you can do in a car?
Posted by Jon J, Friday, 19 December 2008 12:36:12 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
What a pessimistic attitude to human nature! Children are abused and the only way the author can think of to deal with the problem is to take away a personís right to be a parent.

Most children have been abused to some degree or other and a great many of them have gone on to live very productive, fulfilling and happy lives. This has happened because of the advances we have made in understanding human behaviour and itís genesis in childhood. The knowledge of human psychology has grown enormously in recent centuries and we can now repair a lot of the damage that has happened to people as a result of childhood experiences. The abuse of a child is not the end of the story for that person. We as a species are still learning and growing and as we do we solve more and more of our problems. We donít quit trying because we donít know all the answers yet.

Children are affected by many other experiences beside abuse. They may be traumatised by a road accident, their family may be swept away in a tsunami, they may have a physical disability, or their family may go from financially stable to dire poverty. You cannot protect children from life. People recover from all manner of diversity and tragedy and there are truly inspiring stories around to prove it. Sure, you do all you can to protect them but ultimately you have to trust in the human spirit to endure otherwise may as well all throw in the towel.
Posted by phanto, Friday, 19 December 2008 12:47:22 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy