Friday, December 18, 2009

Bad parents make bad kids, unless we pass a law

Today, two young 17 year old girls were convicted of murder and sentenced to 17 years in prison.

The Judge blamed bad parenting and upbringing, which is almost certain the only contributing factor.

But in New Zealand we don't address that at its core, by incentivising families through personal responsibility, hard work and by getting the destructive nature of the State out of their lives.

No. We look at passing laws making bad parenting illegal. This, on the day the very reason for not passing more laws stares at us via the sad faces of two 17 year old girls.

I was never worried when I became a dad because I figured parenting is simple, if you stick to the tried and true of hard work, love, patience, praise, support, discipline and the other important factor - your ears.

But in New Zealand we reward doing nothing (DPB), remove discipline (smacking), set up a myriad of inefficient and bureaucratic state agencies, and pass laws, - as a panacea to parenting problems.

This country is unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable.

14 comments:

Psycho Milt said...

I noticed that the waster parents of the two murderers shown on TV last night had a heavily-pregnant child-woman in tow. Replacements for the murderers already on the way.

I figured parenting is simple, if you stick to the tried and true...

Parenting is simple full stop. It's not hard - we middle class types like to obsess about it but countless generations have managed it successfully without any sort of training whatsoever.

Kids are pretty tough, unlike the view presented in TV dramas. They can cope with all kinds of shitty events in their lives and still grow up to be useful citizens. The problem we're looking at here is that parents inevitably raise kids to be much like themselves, so if we're encouraging waster dumbass losers to breed, the net outcome is an increase in waster dumbass losers.

It's a problem that John Key's govt is busy planning to make worse. Here's one of his Ministers, Tariana Turia, on teenage pregnancy:

...when [Labour] Cabinet Ministers sat around tut-tutting the fact that the fertility rate for Maori females aged 13-17 years was 26.2 per 1000, more than five times that of non-Maori, (4.9% per 1000), I objected to their analysis of our fertility as a problem.

John Key's govt isn't tut-tutting, it's busy planning to "devolve" welfare and health spending to Maori agencies so that Turia's vision of improving the fertility of Maori 13 - 17 year olds can be supported.

The silence on this from right-wing blogs is all the more noticeable when you consider the howling outrage that would have greeted Helen Clark pulling the same shit.

Anonymous said...

yup, we have to legislate for decent human behaviour now.

Milt is right though, we have encouraged and featherbedded dumb assed losers, and strangely enough they are breeding far faster than the rest of society.

Wonder where thats going to lead to?

sadly predictable, we are about the reap the fruits of another generation of losers who dont value education, dont do personal maturity, and who dont expect to get real jobs. What fun! Oh how we will laugh as us aging middle class types hunker down behind our walls and gates and security and hope the slavering mob choose some other victim.

Inventory2 said...

I'm a bit torn on this one Gooner and Milt. I accept what both of you are saying about your own experiences as a parent, and can relate to that.

I wonder however if you're getting the wrong end of the stick with regard to proposed law changes. My take on it (as a bush lawyer) is that the government is not trying to "make bad parenting illegal", but to make parents ACCOUNTABLE. To me, there's a world of difference in that intent. In an ideal world, we (as a society) wouldn't kill and maim our children in increasing numbers. But the world we live in is far from ideal. So isn't the next best thing to bring in a new level of accountability? The Kahui case - where the "reputation" of the family was more important than the lives of the twins - is a prime example. Surely having a provision in the law to punish parents who fail in their most basic duty - to protect their children - is a good thing.

I agree however re Gooner's comments on the DPB, and still hold out hope that this government will look towards a reform of the welfare system. As an employer, our company is in the privileged position of being able to help women transition from the DPB into paid employment, and that is one of the most satisfying aspects of what we do - seeing the satisfaction these women get through earning a living, and taking advantage of opportunities to grow and develop. Changing the "handout mentality" is one of the biggest challenges the government faces.

Lou Taylor said...

Changing the "handout mentality" is one of the biggest challenges the government faces.

Unfortunately no government in NZ will ever have the political will to do this. It is alot easier to borrow money to keep the whole charade of a us being a rich, productive society going.

The recipients of our distorted handout system don't give a stuff what the longterm consequences are for the country. It's all about their lifestyle and entitlement now.

JC said...

PM,

"The silence on this from right-wing blogs is all the more noticeable when you consider the howling outrage that would have greeted Helen Clark pulling the same shit."

A very fair point, but lets look at the Gotcha politics of the last 25 years and the way we handle our perceived conflicts of interest between the parties.

Only Labour in the 1980s could free up the economy and seemingly advantage the business community.. and make it stick for the next 20 years.
Only National in the 1990s could actually implement the Treaty of Waitangi compensations.. and make them stick.
Only Labour in the Noughties could allow benefits to drift below the levels achieved by Ruth Richardson, and only the Nats this time around could take a chance on Whanau Ora.

There are plenty of policies which failed because of this seeming conflict of interest, ie, Jim Bolgers first attempt to get rid of compulsory unionism before 1984, and Labour's aborted Maori policies of earlier this decade. In each case tribal politics conceived them and tribal politics removed them.

We can rail at the hypocrisy of the system, but thats the way its going to stay until we finally embed basic economic and social realities.

JC

Lindsay said...

Silence PM? I have repeatedly pointed out that Tariana Turia is wedded to the DPB and why. Search her name on my blog. Her defence of teenage parenthood is based on romantic nonsense and wanting to grow the Maori population. Romantic nonsense because she thinks ( or tries to soft soap us into thinking) that as long as the babies are nestled in the bosom of the extended whanau, all is well. Palpably bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately no government in NZ will ever have the political will to do this. It is alot easier to borrow money to keep the whole charade of a us being a rich, productive society going.


You don't understand that problem. It's not about will - it's about Labour's changes, particularly WFF, and how they interact with MMP. Basically a majority over voters now get government benefits or salaries --- any change will mean you get voted out at the next election!

This is no accident - also it is no accident that National hasn't changed this at all.

Only Labour in the Noughties could allow benefits to drift below the levels achieved by Ruth Richardson,

utter crap and this never happened. Benefit levels in NZ are higher they have ever been, and are basically the most generous in the entire world.

The only way to fix this problem is either to change the franchise (so bennies don't get to vote); stop elections say until 2025; or hand benefit and fiscal policy of to e.g. the productivity commission directly.

Parliament is now structurally incapable of reforming NZ in that way that it was in the early 1990s. And that is not an accident - it's what the lefties wanted all along.

Gooner said...

Inventory, my view is that your distinction between accountability and illegality is blurred.

If we use the Kahuis as an example, all we need to do is answer this simple question: if the extended family were all arrested and charged for killing that little girl, would that have stopped the little girl being killed in the first place?

Of course we all know the obvious answer. And that's the crux of the issue for me. This is not only ambulance at the bottom of the cliff stuff, but hospitals, morgues and jails at the bottom.

If someone wishes to argue that the point is not to save the little Kahui girl, but to "send a message" to other parents that such behaviour will not be tolerated, then we have to come back to the simple point I made in my post: will making it illegal stop the behaviour.

To answer that, we could ask further questions - did making murder illegal stop murders? Have numerous speeding and other traffic restrictions stopped road deaths? Have our drug laws stopped widespread drug abuse?

As I pointed out, it is values that people live by according to their upbringing that form a decent society. Making laws to uphold these values means nothing because the people who break the values don't give a shit about breaking the law either.

Inventory2 said...

I take your point Gooner. But surely the point of laws is to protect the vulnerable, and children are the most vulnerable in our community. You're right - these measures won't save the Kahui twins, or Nia Glassie, or James Whakaruru. But they might help to save future versions of those victims.

However, let's not forget that it essential to have laws which provide for the punishment of those who choose not to live lawfully. The Law Commission has recommended that the people around children have a duty to protect them from abuse. Having seen first-hand the consequences of child abuse, I'm not going to criticise the government for going down the legislative path.

I do however agree wholeheartedly with you on the question of values. That indeed presents an overwhelming challenge for this or any government.

Anonymous said...

Inventory2
"As an employer, our company is in the privileged position of being able to help women transition from the DPB into paid employment,"

I opine that until we get government out of our social affairs and allow able members of our communities to offer local solutions, nothing will change much.

DyannT

Anonymous said...

Gooner, it was two little Kahui boys, twins. You maybe mixing up Nia Glassie. At least someone answered for that crime though. Welfare in NZ will never shrink, no govt dares change the system, it's political suicuide to do so. More fool them though, I dread the NZ of twenty years'time.

Gooner said...

Thanks anon. Mea Culpa. I was thinking of the clothesline case - Nia Glassie. There are so many, I lose track.

Lucia Maria said...

Gooner,

I agree.

Parenting also comes back to commitment. There is no incentive for a man and a woman to make a long-term commitment to each other in NZ. Casual relationships are treated the same as lifetime marriages. But, there is an obvious link between bad outcomes for children and the type of relationship their parents had.

Nia Glassie's mother shacked up with a teenaged boy (was she ever considered a sexual predator herself?) who eventually killed her little girl.

In a society where it's acceptable to shack up with whomever, of course we are going to get ever increasing laws as everything falls apart.

It all starts with the family. If the family is non-functional, it creates non-functional offspring, which need to be reined in somehow.

WAKE UP said...

"Unfortunately no government in NZ will ever have the political will to do this. It is alot easier to borrow money to keep the whole charade of a us being a rich, productive society going."

Actually, eventually, whichever government happens to be holding the baby (pun intended) at the time will have no choice, as the whole thing will implode (seemingly overnigt), because it is simply not economically sustainable.