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Post no. 53 (Applied Absurdity)

July 19, 2011

I was showing off my surfing abilities on the world wide web and crashed into this.

Other than the dubious morality of the idea, the obvious question is:

Why should parents be relieved of their responsibility of bringing up their children well?

I will keep this short and … well, just short as Julian’s going to be up any minute now.

One of the open-mouth-in-bewilderment-inducing gems abounding in the piece is:

Ludwig said he starting thinking about the issue after a 90-pound 3-year-old girl came to his obesity clinic several years ago. Her parents had physical disabilities, little money and difficulty controlling her weight. Last year, at age 12, she weighed 400 pounds and had developed diabetes, cholesterol problems, high blood pressure and sleep apnea.

90 lbs = 40Kg (to put things into perspective, the average mass of a 3 year old girl would be around 14Kg)

The piece is a string of case histories intended to highlight the plight of parents struggling to control their children’s weight. We’re talking about 14 year olds weighing 250Kg here. Few Sumo wrestlers reach that size.

If you manage to go through the piece from beginning to end, you’ll end up wondering how these parents allow things to reach this stage. I know I did.

How can you not control your 3 year old son’s eating habits?

When do these people think is the right time to start educating their children?

At what stage do they think they should instil a sense of discipline?

I’d say it all boils down to this. Discipline. Discipline as in control over oneself, of course.

Nobody said that keeping your children in check is an easy job, but it has to be done. Whether anybody likes it or not. We’re not talking military rule, obviously. Simple adherence to an established routine and code of behaviour and a healthy respect for authority.

One parent said that she doesn’t have time to cook, so she has to feed her son fast food. The state took custody of her child and gave him to her sister – who, apparently, can feed him well. The article said that he shed 90Kg in two years. Couldn’t this woman have asked her sister to give her a helping hand in the first place?

A child’s place is with his or her family. It is unfair to upset that relation. Parents are morally obliged to take care of their children, and to educate them in all areas of life.

There. Got it off my chest. Now off to a nice breakfast of jam doughnuts and chocolate croissants. Or perhaps not …

Toodle-oo.

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