Bob McCoskrie – National Director Family First NZ
(published in Dominion Post 13 February 2008)
Politicians, with the support of the UN, Children’s Commissioner and Youth Law Project to name a few, have sought to increase children’s rights without considering the vital role of parents.
On one hand, a parent is responsible for the actions of their child in the community and school, but at the same time their role is being undermined by growing pressure on mothers to work and enroll their child in daycare, criminalising effective methods of parental correction, providing the Independent Youth Benefit, provision of contraception and abortion without the consent or even knowledge of the parents, and the recent example of a school dobbing in a parent to CYF for giving their child a light smack.
The huge irony is that the more the state undermines the authority of parents, the less responsibility parents will take for their children. If the government wants parents to be responsible parents, they must firstly respect their authority.
A child’s rights should never be at the expense of the parental right to nurture, protect and set boundaries in a family setting. Rights of children have been shifted from simply (and rightly) protecting vulnerable children to granting them rights that are destructive to them, to good parenting practice, and to the welfare of the whole family in which they are being raised.