Mommie Dearest: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Of This Week’s Parenting News
Way too much happened in the world of parenting this week that I had troubling narrowing down what I wanted to sound off on. So, we’re going to take a look at a bunch of them. Join me for the good, the bad, and the ugly in this week in parenting.
Picture of professor holding baby goes viral. I absolutely love that a picture of a Hebrew University professor holding a baby while lecturing has taken the world by storm. Professor Sydney Engelberg has an open door policy in his classroom, allowing students who are parents to bring their children to class if need be. During one particular class, a student’s baby began crying. Engelberg picked up the baby to help calm the cries and continued instructing his class, while allowing the parent to learn. He shared with Yahoo! Parenting his classroom philosophy, which is 100% spot on in my opinion: ““The reason is that education for me is not simply conveying content, but teaching values. How better than by role modeling?” The whole “It Takes a Village” mentality is very Israeli, so it’s not really surprising, but it is heartening to see how many people outside the country are championing it.
California judge bans abstinence-only education in school district. Finally. It’s been proven time and time again that abstinence-only education has no positive impact on teen sexual behavior, whereas evidence-based comprehensive sex education has been shown to delay the onset of sexual activity, reduce the number of sexual partners, and increase the use of condom and contraception use. And now, the court has made a ground-breaking, potentially game changing declaration in that regard. California superior court judge Donald Black called sex education an “important public right.” This ruling is huge as it will affect a school district with over 40,000 students and with some of the highest teen pregnancy and STD rates in the state (seems like that abstinence-only “education” wasn’t really working, eh?).
“Slow Parenting.” Ah… Yet another parenting philosophy to add to the list. The concept behind “slow parenting” (or as Andi Zeisler coined it back in 2014, “Sloth Parenting”) is scaling back and chilling out when it comes to (over)scheduling your kid. No more weeks packed with karate, cello, ballet, soccer, and swimming lessons. Instead, let kids be kids and cut yourself some slack. The philosophy in general is fine and not really all that offensive. It’s just the fact that we have to have yet another parenting philosophy that allows parents to get all high and mighty and holier-than-thou about that gets me pissy. This is also a parenting trend that favors certain segments of populations, and can leave others out (especially ones that have working parents and may need to schedule their kids because after school activities act as child care, etc…). Parent slow, parent fast, just do what’s best for your family and call it a day.
Parents lose custody of their 10 kids for living off the grid. What? I don’t even know. Am I supposed to be mad at the authorities for coming in and taking away these kids (who range in age from 3 months to 15 years old) because their parents practice some unorthodox things like unschooling and living off the grid? Or should I be mad at the parents for raising their children in questionable circumstances that include no running water, heat, and most likely (but I’m not certain), no vaccines. Oh, and they’re pregnant with their 11th child. This whole situation feels like a big old ball of nope to me.
Thankfully the good outweighed the bad this week, but when it comes to parenting, the odds usually are never in our favor, so I’m sure we’ll break that balance next week. Until then…