Children Make Parents Irrational - And That's Okay

Recently, a friend of mine made a social media post (groan) about some sort of issue - honestly, I don't even remember the initial point. At some point during discourse, the original poster (OP) said something along the lines of, "Parents can't be trusted with big decisions, because they irrationally prioritize the needs of their own kids before the needs of others."

And in case you were wondering, no - OP doesn't have children. But he sure feels confident that he can speak to the realities of parenting!

Yup. Parents are bad for loving their kids too much, apparently. via BLOOM

Specifically, he was referring to a scenario in which a person has to choose which child of several children gets limited resources. Let's say there's one spot left in a popular daycare. Heck yes - any parent is going to want their kid to get it, other kids bedamned. His assertion is that parents won't be able to balance their own kids' needs against those of other kids - that your own kid will always take priority over others. Which, I mean - didn't he just describe the job of a parent? So he's saying that a good parent who is doing their job well is incapable of voting? Of making big decisions? Of making decisions that impact people beyond their own family?

Listen here, OP. That's how biology works.

Parents love their kids a whole lot because science. via D6

No, literally. I mean it. Biology means that we are more closely bonded to our children than any other human being on the planet. That bond is what keeps babies alive when they're screaming 20 hours a day, what keeps the toddler alive when they cover themselves in peanut butter from head to toe, what keeps teens alive when they're caught sneaking out. And what's more, our innate drive to provide the best for our children is actually a huge net benefit to everyone. Thank goodness parents are irrational when it comes to their kids!

He's not wrong! Parents can be unreasonable when it comes to their own kids. But humans aren't entirely rational beings - we do lots of irrational things! Our mouths are connected to our buttholes and are filled with germs and nasty smells. Teeth decay, gums recede, lips wrinkle. And yet - we put our nasty mouths together as an expression of love. Humans do lots of things that are irrational that serve no greater purpose.

I couldn't resist those cheeks either. via Lifehack

But putting your kids before anyone else's kids? That serves a massive purpose. That serves literally everyone that currently lives, and that will live in the future. Kids are our future, so heck yes they deserve the cream of the crop! Let's allocate resources to the people who have the longest road ahead of them, the most opportunities to make smart choices and better our world. That seems deeply rational to me. As a parent, I can trust that other parents are looking out for their own kids (most of the time). So that biological drive protects kids from getting overrun by fellow parents - each man for himself, so to speak.

At the end of the day, anyone making a blanket judgement against all parents is out of line. Especially when said person doesn't even have children of their own. This isn't their lane.

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