The parenting test

Please take this brief test. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, please do not procreate.

ē Are video and/or computer games more important to you than a steady source of income?

ē Does a keg party sound like a great setting for babyís first birthday party? (Donít laugh, I know some people.)

ē Is it acceptable to leave your young children at home alone or in the car while you go out partying?

ē Do you get violent and lose your temper whenever things donít go your way?

ē Is Britney Spears your parenting role model?

If any of those sounded like great ideas to you, you need to be sterilized, immediately. For the rest of you who think Iím completely crazy for even asking, I guess you havenít seen the news lately.

I donít want to sound preachy or self righteous, because I know I am far from perfect, but every day I hear stories about more and more individuals who seem to care more for themselves than their kids. In the last few months, Iíve seen a story about a couple so obsessed with video games that they neglected their infant and toddler children, almost to the point of starvation, a story about a woman who let her five-year-old drive her home because she was drunk and according to her ďheís a good driver,Ē stories about children so psychologically damaged that they release their anger on others and countless stories about abuse and maltreatment of children at the hands of their incompetent parents.

I donít know if crazy dysfunctional families are becoming more prevalent or if there is just a greater amount of media scrutiny on these situations, but I do know that it is way too common and something has to be done to stop it.

There are countless reasons Iíve heard for the rise of the dysfunctional family. People have kids before they are ready, and some of them step up to the challenge, others refuse to alter their lifestyles at all and continue taking part in stupid, reckless behavior. Growing up in Chenango County, Iíve seem examples of both. Iíve also seen kids so desensitized from the craziness of their lives that they think itís normal, and grow up to do the same thing.

Being a parent is a long, tiring and sometimes extremely frustrating job, but itís also the greatest thing a person can experience. It should change your life, and if you embrace those changes it can be wonderful, but for those people who want to continue a life of partying, getting wasted and acting like they donít have kids at all, you donít deserve that experience.

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