A new proposed law from the Swedish government would place responsibility on the heads of parents for crimes committed by their children and subject them to pay for monetary losses experienced by those who were victimized by their son or daughter. Minister of Justice Beatrice Ask argues, “You can’t as a mother say, ‘I had no idea;’ rather one expects parents to keep a closer eye on their children.” A noble sentiment, but one divorced from the reality of modern life. In post industrial society, parents are working and their children are placed in an institution known as a school where they spend the entire day with peers and teachers. Most experts on adolescence know that peer influence these days is more important than parental influence. And, there is no way any parent can supervise who their children spend time with at school.
Ask insists, “it is acceptable in a society to demand that parents take responsibilities for their children.” Sorry, it is not responsible to ask this of parents. How many of we parents have discovered too late that a child becomes friends with those at school who are not the healthiest role model?
Wake up to reality, Beatrice. I’m sorry, most of us are not as perfect in parenthood as you!