Does the Government Know Better Than You When it Comes to Raising Your Kids?

On July 12, 2011 FoxNews.com published an article discussing a recent commentary in the Journal of American Medical Association.  In the commentary it was suggested that super obese children should be taken away from their parents as if they were being abused.  In my opinion, this is a frightening proposal as it begs the question “how much power should a government have in shaping the life of a child.”  Personally, I subscribe to the belief that a government powerful enough to give you everything you need also has the power to wrest away everything you have.  I lean towards the opinion, that above all else, our personal responsibility trumps the power of others to affect our lives and that power should be guarded at all costs. 

Several years back documentary movie director Morgan Sperlock produced a film called Supersize51T82FS9Y8L. SL500 AA300  Does the Government Know Better Than You When it Comes to Raising Your Kids? Me.  Mr. Sperlock was prompted to create the film when he read the story of two teenage girls who were suing McDonald’s blaming the restaurant for their obesity.  A point of discussion in the movie had to do with the girls personal choices that led to them being overweight.  Ultimately, the question was whether or not these girls had control over their decisions related to the food they ate, or were they so weak that they were unable to resist the enticement of the famous clown.  I would have a hard time admitting such a weakness and believe with all of my heart that everyone has ultimate control over their own lives.  It is only when we refuse to take responsibility for these poor choices do people start to blame others for their bad health

I have known many people in my life who claim that they are unable to control themselves when it comes to alcohol, drugs…or yes, even food.  I do not deny that there are many people who experience some weakness, whether it is physiological or psychological that increases the likelihood that they will make poor decisions related to dangerous or unhealthy behavior.  I still believe, however that these behaviors are chosen.  It is like the person who uses inappropriate language at work and claims they can’t control themselves.  Yet this same person will refrain from this language when they are around their parents or children.  Controlling it may be difficult, and require some effort, but it can be done.  In my opinion, the people who claim they can’t stop eating are simply offering an argument so they can continue to engage in the behavior they know to be wrong and destructive.

 Does the Government Know Better Than You When it Comes to Raising Your Kids?This brings us to the discussion for today.  Some presumably smart people are suggesting that they know better than you when it comes to raising your children.  Where does this presumption end?  If your kids are not getting good grades?  If they are getting in trouble with the law?  If they are not eating their vegetables?

The article provides the statistic that there are currently approximately two million American kids who are “extremely” obese; however, the article also admits that these kids are not being influenced solely by their parents.  Where adults remain much more impervious to advertising and suggestion, kids are much more susceptible to the images they are exposed to on the television screen.  Yet I take great exception to the idea that forces external to the family unit would do a better job  of raising responsible children brimming with good character.  I will not say that parents who allow their children to become morbidly obese are doing a good job; however, the answer is that they must do a better job.  We as Americans must recognize that our behavior is cheating our children out of a healthier, longer life.  We must recognize our personal responsibility when we are making choices that will shape the lives of our children

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