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Barack Levin

Author: Barack Levin

Outsourcing Parenthood

Posted by Barack Levin on 20th February 2011

I have thought about this idea for a very long time and still trying to wrap my head around it. In my opinion parenting is a very personal matter. A parent is in charge of raising his child to successful adulthood. It seems to me that it needs to be a personal journey involving the 2 parties: the parent and the child. In my family, I try my hardest to do so and take personal responsibility over my kids.

At the same time, I am remembered at something I experienced during working at GE.  GE was than in a craze of souring out almost every project it had. The rule back then was to outsource at least 70% of the company’s operations to off shore companies (mainly in India). This post is not intended to discuss if it is a good practice or a bad one. This post comes to show that corporate thinking has slowly sipped into parenthood thinking. It seems to me that many parents outsource their parental responsibilities more and more.

Several examples. Nannies are probably the best example. Nannies come to replace the parents and they are in direct charge of educating and bringing up the kids. Restaurants or prepared food is another. No one cooks any more for their kids and instead we feed them processed food. We have also outsourced this parental function. There are plenty more examples.

But it is not only kids’ upbringing that we outsource, we also do so with our bonding, love and attachment to our kids. More and more parents are using professional therapists to help them with their child’s behaviors. Instead of tackling the problem by themselves from the beginning, they outsource this part of their parental responsibility as well. And I am not even mentioning medication for kids to calm them down as outsourcing of parents’ inability to control their kids. If you read any of my other posts, you already know my opinion.

The reason that sparked this post was a news article I read on line. A 4 year old kid broke his teacher’s nose. The details are not important, what is important was the parents’ reaction. They could not understand why the teacher could not use a technique they taught her to hug the kid from behind to calm him down. This is parental outsourcing at its best. The parents are not able to control their child but expect others to do so. The teacher’s role (as the name suggests) is to teach and not to parent. She does not have to deal with behavioral issues. As a matter of fact, if and when she does, it means that other kids in the class suffer from lack of attention or worst yet, lack of teaching.

We as parents are accustomed more and more to rely on the “system” to raise our kids and “fix” them instead of putting in the time and effort to do it ourselves. No wonder that later on in life we find out that we have raised alienating kids who have no connection to us – after all, we never had any real connection to them.

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