Anytime you see someone displaying an example of bad parenting, many different thoughts may go through your mind. Why would any parent act like that? How is that poor child going to be affected both short-term and long-term? Is there any hope for the parent to change their parenting for the better
But there's one thought that may pop into your head out of sheer frustration or anger: Parenting should require a licence. In theory, it may seem like a good idea. After all, not everyone who becomes a parent- be it intentional or by accident- is cut out to be one. But as it turns out, perhaps forcing people to get a licence to parent isn't a good idea.
Research recently conducted at James Cook University in North Queensland, Australia revealed that a licence for parenting would bring about a ton of issues. This is despite the fact that the intentions of such a thing are usually good- we want kids to have better parenting. But the main researcher in this study, Dr. Frank Ainsworth, explained that many problems would arise in this scenario.
Many of the problems that would arise from having a parenting licence system would cause it to be useless, and even open children up to the potential for abuse. There would also be the notion that despite women being able to give birth, their baby may be taken away and put up for adoption if they don't have a licence to parent. That means that a mother will likely have her baby ripped away from her not long after birth. Not only that, but if that were to happen, there most likely wouldn't be enough eligible people to adopt. This is based on another study of current adoption statistics.
Dr. Ainsworth also revealed how denying a parenting licence to some people would end up falling on the shoulders of people with a high rate of socio-economic disadvantage. This includes testing potential parents who have a physcial and/or intellectual disability, people who are illiterate, and immigrants who can't speak English. Worse, denying someone a parenting licence doesn't create any kind of alternative for the person being denied. It's a final decision that cannot be reversed, which will upset those who are negatively impacted.
Needless to say, implementing a parenting licence in society would be a bad idea for both parents and kids alike. We want kids to flourish, not be abused or neglected. So the next time you see someone display an example of bad parenting, remember that a licence to parent would only do more harm than good.