Is the Government Too Involved in Child-Rearing?

Annie Holmquist | October 18, 2016 | 2,846

Is the Government Too Involved in Child-Rearing?

“I didn’t set out to be a radical, I just wanted my kids swaddled at day care.”

That’s according to author and mom of four, Abby Schachter. In a recent video for Reason TV, Schachter admits that swaddling was one of the few things she as a mother felt strongly about when it came to parenting. Research and personal experience had taught her that her children slept better when swaddled, and she wanted them to have that comforting, familiar experience while she was away at work.

But as Schachter soon discovered, she had to plow through yards of red tape in order to obtain permission for such a simple, age-old parenting technique like swaddling, largely because government officials feared incorrect swaddling could end in death for the child.

This discovery caused her to realize that when it came to safety and raising her children, it was the government, not true childhood experts, who were calling the shots and making the rules:

“[S]ome of the same people who are pushing this [sic] kind of overly broad definitions of safety and lack of acceptance of risk are the people who – the doctors, pediatricians, go to to get opinions for how they should advise their patients.”

Furthermore, Schachter believes these efforts have been fueled by “media hysterias” which cause people to think that their children are in greater danger of being harmed than may actually be the case.

Getting past these obstacles is difficult, notes Schachter, but there are a couple of ways in which we may be able to give control back to parents. These include:

  1. “Bring the problem-solving closer to the supposed problem.”
  2. “Understand that every rule that gets written has a cost.”

Does Schachter have a point? Has the parental tendency to give way to fear over a child’s safety gradually eroded the right for parents to raise their child in the best way they see fit? Is it too late for parents to make a stand and take back the authority they have ceded to the government?

Image Credit: Dörk_Hö bit.ly/1iowB8m



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