By Irene F. Starkehaus -
Does government retain control of your children or do you?
Right off the bat, this is a hard conversation to have with freedom loving people. The whole idea of being in control of your children feels very totalitarian and alien to the way Americans view parenthood. Control is an abomination of the most basic childrearing tenets when you reflect on it for a moment. As parents, we may raise, nurture, reprimand and guide. We may be ultimately responsible for directing them to autonomy, but we're not in control of them. They have free will and must be taught to control and respect themselves.
Yet increasingly, control is the legal battle that parents are having with government. Who ultimately maintains control over minors? Who has the final say in the upbringing of children?
The government would certainly like to lay claim to every aspect and stage of our children's lives and micromanage what they see as America's greatest resource. You know, like a rainforest or an oil well. I've never liked the point of view that children are a great resource because that merely perpetuates the progressive idea that people exist to feed the energy needs of the State and those who run it. It's been said before and it bears repeating, people don't exist to serve our government. Our government exists to serve the people. If you like being micromanaged, I can recommend any number of countries from which people are currently escaping that might better suit your mood. America is designed to be different.
The reason that parents are infinitely better suited to "control" (for lack of a better word) their children is precisely for their willingness and biological urge to guide and then release offspring to live lives of their own. I ask you this before we move another inch forward in the "it's for the children" meme. Once the government gains control over something, when does it ever willingly released it?