Who Should Parent Your Child: Government or Robots?

This Week’s Sign the Apocalypse is Upon Us

By Rebekah Maxwell – BarbWire guest columnist

“Being a parent is so easy!” Said no parent, ever.

But maybe that’s because they’re trying too hard. Of course, parenting is hard for the common mom or dad: they’re not the experts. You’d better let government take care of that for you. And by “that,” we mean your kids.

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Yes, we all now reject the archiac idea that “kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities” (Thanks, MSNBC).  We all know it takes a village to raise good little global citizens, and now parents have at least two options to have their children raised properly:

Government or robots.

A new law in Scotland, mandates every child in Scotland be assigned a state employee – either a health worker or teacher – who will monitor the child until they turn 18.

The day-to-day role of a named person is to follow ‘reports’ about a child, to keep an eye on their files. They will have rights to see private medical reports, and to request information about that child from other agencies (there is a legal ‘duty to help named person’)…. The other aspect of a named person’s role is to propose ‘interventions’. They will have a role in drawing up a ‘child’s plan’ if a child is found to have a ‘wellbeing need’: this plan will outline the ‘targeted intervention which requires to be provided… in relation to the child’.

The law hasn’t been implemented yet (and is coming under tremendous backlash from Scotland’s parents) but some families have already gotten letters from their pediatricians that “we are now required to inform the Named Person for your child if your child fails to attend an appointment.”

Aidan O’Neill QC said the plans appear to be “predicated on the idea that the proper primary relationship that children will have for their well-being and development, nurturing and education is with the State rather than within their families and with their parents”.

But of course, sir! That’s a truth universally acknowledged! At least, that’s our truth…and now the only legally-acceptable truth. Parents can’t be trusted to raise their children properly, so the State must spy on, er…see to it that parenting is done right.

At the same time, England and Wales are now seeking to criminalize parents’ “emotional neglect” of their children:

The Queen said parents who cause psychological harm to children through neglect would be a committing a criminal offense under the Serious Crime Bill. Critics worry the plans could target innocent parents and miss cases of real welfare concern.

Silly critics! Don’t you understand? There are no “innocent parents.” All of us are mere plebeians, without the benefit of expert child-rearing knowledge. We can’t be trusted in our lowly and under-evolved state. The State knows better than we (as they taught us in government school), so why not trust them to raise our children?

But for those reluctant to turn to a literal Nanny State, we have other options to ensure your children are raised right (to government specifications): robots.

Did you know you’re paying for $10 million in child-training robots? You are. Isn’t that nice of Guv’ment?

The National Science Foundation has committed $10 million to build robots that will act as “personal trainers” for children, in an effort to influence their behavior and eating habits.

The government has spent $2.15 million so far for the five-year project, which is being led by Yale University. The project, “Robots Helping Kids,” will ultimately “deploy” robots into homes and schools to teach English as a second language, and encourage kids to exercise.

The project will develop a “new breed of sophisticated ‘socially assistive’ robots,” designed to help children “learn to read, appreciate physical fitness, overcome cognitive disabilities, and perform physical exercises,” according to a news release by Yale University when the grant was first announced in 2012.

“Just like a good personal trainer, we want the robots to be able to guide the child toward a behavior that we desire,” said Brian Scassellati, a computer science professor at Yale and principal investigator for the study.

“What we want to do is move these robots out of the laboratory and into schools and homes and clinics, places where we can directly help children on a day-to-day basis,” he said.

The NSF grant said the project is necessary due to “critical societal problems.”

“The need for this technology is driven by critical societal problems that require sustained, personalized support that supplements the efforts of educators, parents, and clinicians,” the grant said.

Scassellati envisions the robots influencing nearly every aspect of children’s lives.

Of course they will! That’s what the Mombot-4000 does best! If your kids don’t listen to you, make them listen to a government-programmed robot.

For one can’t help but notice the intended use of the impressive new technology: to train children in the “behavior we desire.” It’s overt social engineering (emphasis on the “engineering”).

We’re investing in these brilliant advancements in robotics so that Rosie can tell our kids what to do. And who tells Rosie what to do?  Government programmers, naturally.

So don’t worry about that pesky parenting anymore. You’ve tried your meager best, commoners,  but you’re still bringing up children in the way you think they should go. Your children are imperfect and uncontrolled. This is unacceptable.

So get out of the way, and let the government experts show you how it’s done.

It’s for the children.

First published at SteveDeace.com

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

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