Parenting Skills License ?

The idea of some kind of education, practice, and testing on parenting skills has considerable merit.  However:

The core problem with comparing a child license to a driver’s license is the “right vs privilege” clause.

Given variance in parental decisions, including circumcision, sleep and curfew times, home vs public or private schooling, use of leisure time, vaccination, food decisions, etc. ; having a bureaucrat in some agency decide that you were a bad parent, revoke your “license”,  and exercise its authority to A) Prevent your reproducing , or B) Take away custody rights,  could quickly and draconianly become a nightmare.

A less invasive system might be one based on rewards, rather than punishment by removal of basic rights.  For example, a discount on health care, free or discount/upgrade tickets to sporting or community events, membership in clubs or community pool,  after passing parental exam.

On the other hand, in cases where there has been abuse or neglect, especially if the kids have been put into the social services for some reason, having an available authorized official  parental class would give the parents a way to redeem themselves, get on track,  give some measurable way to “prove ” that they deserved another chance at parenting,  and provide a clear path toward getting custody of their kids back.

In Response to: http://www.freakonomics.com/2011/08/22/freakonomics-poll-should-being-a-parent-require-a-license

xpost of my comment: page-4/#comment-263345

 

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