Alberta Bill C24: what is parenting?
by Toks Balogun
Webster’s dictionary defines parenting as the raising of a child by its parents. Wikipedia further expatiates on this by stating: Parenting is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. Parenting refers to the aspects of raising a child aside from the biological relationship. This role, according to Wikipedia is primarily discharged by the biological parents or legal guardian. Government can only play a role in parenting a child if the child is orphaned or abandoned.
I am not out of my head in my thinking about the role I play in raising my children. I am primarily responsible for the physical, emotional, social, intellectual, and spiritual development of my child. My children bear my name and if anything happens to them, the first point of call is me as the next of kin, not the government of Alberta. I want to raise them in such a way that I am not only proud of them, the society appreciates them as well. It is common knowledge that children are constantly under pressure to try things. That is why the circles they keep are so important. In most cases, children make choices not to be seen as being odd, or to keep a relationship, – not necessarily for the merit of those choices.
Statistically, over 90 percent of teenage smokers start because of peer pressure. Same goes for alcoholism, teenage sex and other vices. A child’s desire to explore, and peer pressure, play significant roles in their social make-up, orientation and emotional development.
Thus, taking away the ability of parents to advise and guide their children, as stated by Bill 24, is tantamount to denying parents their role as guardians.
That is why this Bill 24 by the Alberta government, requiring that parents should not be made aware when their children join the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) is basically declaring these children are not allowed parental guidance and are dependent on government for their social and emotional development, taking away the parent’s responsible for the child.
Have we forgotten why they are in school? Parents send them there to fulfill an aspect of their parenting role – the intellectual development of the child.
Each family has social and spiritual values which are expected to be represented by every member of that family; we are all ambassadors of our families. Any negative actions by any member of the family is attributed to the whole family. That is why the statement, “remember the child of whom you are” is common with parents because children are ambassadors of their family to the society.
The government of Alberta should know that sending children to school for their intellectual development does not take away the role of the parents in the life of a child. What will be next to undermine the role of parents?
Toks Balogun is the Lead Pastor of Rehoboth Assembly, Calgary.