Why Don’t We Need A License For Parenting?

A few years ago, I watched a movie called “Parenthood”, starring Steve Martin, Keanu Reeves, Martha Plimpton, etc. In the movie, Keanu Reeves’ character says a line: “You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, or drive a car. Hell, you need a license to catch a fish! But they’ll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father.”

This, according to me, is a very relevant quote. Think about it. Doesn’t he have a point? Any person can become a father irrespective of his nature or his principles.

Any person who is about to occupy an important position – be it the CEO of a company or a political leader – is investigated, interviewed and scrutinised before appointment. But nothing at all is done to question the right of a person to become a parent – a role which requires a lot of responsibility. Isn’t guiding a child through their childhood, bringing them up and finally handing them over to the society as a citizen a vital job which has no supervision? Will it be an exaggeration if I say that many crimes can be traced back to bad parenting?

The person committing a crime against humanity or even a petty theft can be a socially misled person. Who can lead a person in the right direction more than their parents? Who can teach a person moral values and humanity more than a parent? Effective parenting can sharpen the attitude of a person to a great extent. Imagine a world where all the mothers and fathers inculcate good values and ethics into their children. Our society would flourish with people having rich and kind hearts. Love and peace will spread their wings.

It is not practical to determine who is fit to be a parent through documents and tests. Neither can we ban healthy people from having a child. But we can teach people ideal principles for being parents. Their mindset can be improved through counselling and awareness programs. Just like Keanu Reeves said, if we need a license to drive or trade, why can’t counselling be made mandatory for parents? It is both a practical and an effective way to create good parents in the society.

It is true that all criminals and social evils are not the result of bad parenting. But a great number of them are. And it’s not just about good and bad parents – instead, it’s about inculcating values in children. Through counselling, couples can be given specific advice which would help in creating good parents and ultimately result in a better world

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