Requiring Competency to be Parents

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Requiring Competency to be Parents

#1  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 01, 2010 4:00 am

Grimstad wrote:Oh boy. We're one step closer to competency tests for parents.


To be completely honest, I can't wait for that. There is actually a big push at the moment called the Triple-P (Positive Parenting Program - it's not as stupid as it sounds), that has actually demonstrated itself to be a highly useful tool for parents and has helped reduced a lot of problems in children. Once that is systematically developed I think it should be mandatory for parents to attend the classes so they have some idea of how to deal with their kids.

The main problem with dogs and children is that people think they know best, when they simply know nothing about behavior. There is no reason at all why anyone would object to having to go through a basic test before getting a dog, in the same way no one objects to having to sit a licensing test to drive a car.
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Re: Dog owners face ‘competency test’

#2  Postby blackarmada » Mar 01, 2010 4:16 am

Grimstad wrote:Oh boy. We're one step closer to competency tests for parents.


Might not be a bad idea, octomom obviously needs to be tested for competency.
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Re: Dog owners face ‘competency test’

#3  Postby cursuswalker » Mar 01, 2010 7:54 pm

Personally, and here I speak as one who is infertile, I think it is crucial that the right to exercise ones fertility should NOT be permitted by any authority. That way lies eugenics.
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Re: Dog owners face ‘competency test’

#4  Postby Matt H » Mar 01, 2010 8:19 pm

cursuswalker wrote:Personally, and here I speak as one who is infertile, I think it is crucial that the right to exercise ones fertility should NOT be permitted by any authority. That way lies eugenics.


Fair enough. I can understand your position, I used to believe it myself.
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Re: Dog owners face ‘competency test’

#5  Postby Eryemil » Mar 02, 2010 9:53 am

Grimstad wrote:Oh boy. We're one step closer to competency tests for parents.


It'll never happen, for the same reason that people in the UK are not allowed to mutilate their dogs but are allowed to butcher their offspring.
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#6  Postby Grimstad » Mar 02, 2010 5:46 pm

I gotta say, I didn't expect that much of a respense from my comment. I see it like this. Like so many other topics that society struggles with, even though we may not like the end result of decisions we make, they are still OUR personal decisions. It is not the role of the state to make these decisions for us. Abuses will ALWAYS occur. We must have mechanisms in place to deal with these abuses as they occur but we can never allow others to make these decisions for us.

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#7  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 03, 2010 2:38 am

Grimstad wrote:I gotta say, I didn't expect that much of a respense from my comment. I see it like this. Like so many other topics that society struggles with, even though we may not like the end result of decisions we make, they are still OUR personal decisions. It is not the role of the state to make these decisions for us. Abuses will ALWAYS occur. We must have mechanisms in place to deal with these abuses as they occur but we can never allow others to make these decisions for us.


So you disagree with the need for drivers licenses? If not, then why doesn't the above logic apply? 'Car accidents will always happen but people need to be free to make these mistakes, with mechanisms in place to deal with the accidents as they occur'..?

Taking care of a dog, or a child, requires a lot more training than learning how to drive a car and the potential for damage is arguably much greater than that of a car. So it seems absurd to me that we require people to get drivers licenses but send new parents off into the world without any training in how to raise their kid, or expecting new pet owners to automatically know the laws of behaviors and know how to raise an animal...
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#8  Postby Grimstad » Mar 03, 2010 3:12 am

Seriously? Drivers license? You don’t have to be licensed to own a car, just to drive one. Driving a car quite literally involves endangering the lives of tens or hundreds of thousands of other people on a daily basis.
Taking care of a dog, or a child, requires a lot more training than learning how to drive a car and the potential for damage is arguably much greater than that of a car.
While disagreeing with the car analogy I’d like to point out that according to established standards it takes about 18 years of intense training with very small class sizes (depending on number of siblings). Typically this includes some training in animal husbandry.

I think that 3 P sounds like a great resource for those wanting it. But state approved parenting isn’t even a slippery slope. Once you have that, you have bottomed out.
Back on the subject of pets, once someone has shown they lack the skills to adequately care for the safety of a pet, then perhaps we can discuss competency tests, just like we do with kids.

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#9  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 03, 2010 3:26 am

Grimstad wrote:Seriously? Drivers license? You don’t have to be licensed to own a car, just to drive one. Driving a car quite literally involves endangering the lives of tens or hundreds of thousands of other people on a daily basis.


But raising a dog without training puts the lives of anyone it comes across at risk, and obviously with children if you fuck them up then you basically fuck up the future of the world. So whilst the damage to the individual may seem inconsequential, the cumulative effects could be catastrophic.

Grimstad wrote:
Taking care of a dog, or a child, requires a lot more training than learning how to drive a car and the potential for damage is arguably much greater than that of a car.
While disagreeing with the car analogy I’d like to point out that according to established standards it takes about 18 years of intense training with very small class sizes (depending on number of siblings). Typically this includes some training in animal husbandry.


Personal experience isn't training though. Stick me in a pitch black room with a gun and tell me to learn how to shoot it. If I'm lucky I'll survive, with only a few minor injuries, and at the end I may be able to fire off a few rounds with one or two potentially hitting somewhere near the target - but this isn't gun training. It is, as the saying goes, shooting in the dark.

Whilst parenting is a controversial topic as everyone likes to believe that any parenting style is fine and that you'll "learn" how to raise a child your own way, with dogs the issue becomes much clearer. Most dog owners are absolutely fucking terrible dog trainers who know jack all about their animal. Personally I think the comparison of dog owners and parents is apt.

Grimstad wrote:I think that 3 P sounds like a great resource for those wanting it. But state approved parenting isn’t even a slippery slope. Once you have that, you have bottomed out.
Back on the subject of pets, once someone has shown they lack the skills to adequately care for the safety of a pet, then perhaps we can discuss competency tests, just like we do with kids.


I don't understand what's so bad about competency tests for dogs and children? Training is given for any activity we partake in throughout our lives, especially those things we do that has the potential to negatively affect another person or thing's life, but we suddenly act all outraged at the prospect of needing training in, arguably, the most complicated and important task we will ever take in our lives. And the same applies to raising children. :grin:
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#10  Postby I'm With Stupid » Mar 03, 2010 3:45 am

Mr.Samsa wrote:Taking care of a dog, or a child, requires a lot more training than learning how to drive a car and the potential for damage is arguably much greater than that of a car.

I disagree. Driving a car is something you can only do with training. It's a fundamentally alien concept, like read and writing. If you don't learn it, you can't do it. I don't think you can say the same about parenting. I think it's far more of an instinctual thing. That doesn't mean that you can't improve your parenting skills, but more in the way that you can learn to run faster. You could always run, training just makes you do it faster.
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Re: Re:

#11  Postby I'm With Stupid » Mar 03, 2010 3:48 am

Mr.Samsa wrote:I don't understand what's so bad about competency tests for dogs and children?

Well in the case of the latter, what do you do with parents who fail the test? Forced abortions?
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#12  Postby Gallstones » Mar 03, 2010 3:49 am

Mr.Samsa wrote:
Personal experience isn't training though. Stick me in a pitch black room with a gun and tell me to learn how to shoot it. If I'm lucky I'll survive, with only a few minor injuries, and at the end I may be able to fire off a few rounds with one or two potentially hitting somewhere near the target - but this isn't gun training. It is, as the saying goes, shooting in the dark.



Just always keep it pointed away from yourself Mr. S. :grin:
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Re: Re:

#13  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 03, 2010 3:54 am

I'm With Stupid wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:Taking care of a dog, or a child, requires a lot more training than learning how to drive a car and the potential for damage is arguably much greater than that of a car.

I disagree. Driving a car is something you can only do with training. It's a fundamentally alien concept, like read and writing. If you don't learn it, you can't do it. I don't think you can say the same about parenting. I think it's far more of an instinctual thing. That doesn't mean that you can't improve your parenting skills, but more in the way that you can learn to run faster. You could always run, training just makes you do it faster.


I disagree with that. I can't think of any parents that have a good enough grasp of basic behavior to be able to efficiently raise their kids. To me, I think it's more likely someone will be able to drive a car successfully than raise a child successfully. Whilst it's true that children are fairly adaptive and can be somewhat immune to the bad parenting techniques employed by the vast majority of parents, this is like saying I can successfully drive a car without training because when I'm driving around alone on a huge empty field I don't crash.

The fact that kids tend to come out of it okay is not a testament to the universality of parenting skills, it's a result of sheer dumb luck.

I'm With Stupid wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:I don't understand what's so bad about competency tests for dogs and children?

Well in the case of the latter, what do you do with parents who fail the test? Forced abortions?


Give them more training, or as a last resort, give them the option of abortion or adoption (possibly with the chance to reclaim your kid after demonstrating your ability to look after and raise children).

Gallstones wrote:Just always keep it pointed away from yourself Mr. S. :grin:


:lol: I aint no gun expert, but I imagine that would be one of the few things I do know about guns!
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#14  Postby Grimstad » Mar 03, 2010 5:12 am

Mr.Samsa wrote:
Grimstad wrote:Seriously? Drivers license? You don’t have to be licensed to own a car, just to drive one. Driving a car quite literally involves endangering the lives of tens or hundreds of thousands of other people on a daily basis.


But raising a dog without training puts the lives of anyone it comes across at risk, and obviously with children if you fuck them up then you basically fuck up the future of the world. So whilst the damage to the individual may seem inconsequential, the cumulative effects could be catastrophic.

Raising a dog with the intent of creating a vicious killer is what puts people in danger. Following this assumption is grounds to not let anyone keep a dog at all. And crossing over to the human aspect of your assumption, kids aren’t some new creation. We have been having them for millions of years (or thousands depending on your beliefs). The cumulative effects came a long time ago.

Grimstad wrote:
Taking care of a dog, or a child, requires a lot more training than learning how to drive a car and the potential for damage is arguably much greater than that of a car.
While disagreeing with the car analogy I’d like to point out that according to established standards it takes about 18 years of intense training with very small class sizes (depending on number of siblings). Typically this includes some training in animal husbandry.


Personal experience isn't training though. Stick me in a pitch black room with a gun and tell me to learn how to shoot it. If I'm lucky I'll survive, with only a few minor injuries, and at the end I may be able to fire off a few rounds with one or two potentially hitting somewhere near the target - but this isn't gun training. It is, as the saying goes, shooting in the dark.

Whilst parenting is a controversial topic as everyone likes to believe that any parenting style is fine and that you'll "learn" how to raise a child your own way, with dogs the issue becomes much clearer. Most dog owners are absolutely fucking terrible dog trainers who know jack all about their animal. Personally I think the comparison of dog owners and parents is apt.


Why on earth would I stick you in a pitch black room with a gun and tell you to learn how to shoot it? Your analogies need a little work. Personal experience is just that, personal experience. Personal experience has worked for millions of years.

This has nothing to do with good parents and bad parents. This is about giving up personal rights to the state or some other governing body. Apparently you think your parents were not qualified to raise a child. Or is it only other people?

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#15  Postby Grimstad » Mar 03, 2010 6:28 am

Of course my parents weren't qualified to raise a child, they thought spanking was effective at producing long lasting behavioral changes!

No, the fact of the matter is that very, very few people understand enough about human and animal behavior to be qualified to raise a child or have a dog.

The fact of the matter is that you have a vey strong negative OPINION of everyones parenting abilities based on your own personal experience.

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Re:

#16  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 03, 2010 7:18 am

Grimstad wrote:
The fact of the matter is that you have a vey strong negative OPINION of everyones parenting abilities based on your own personal experience.


No, based on my own personal opinion, well realistically I'd ignore it as anecdotal evidence is useless but if I were to accept it then I'd have a more positive view of parenting because I think my parents are great people and I know they did their best to raise me and my siblings. I had an incredibly easy life with my parents, and they were terribly good to me.

From a behavioral science perspective though, my position changes obviously as I think back on some of the things they did and realise how silly they were. I see the same with parents every day, they just have no idea of how to raise kids. And this isn't my "opinion", it's based on my knowledge of behavioral psychology and basic observation of people's parenting style. (Plus, the pragmatic assumption that the average parent hasn't had extensive training in behavioral science).

It's frustrating seeing parents in the supermarket do something to stop a behavior, or to hear parents talk to me about how they are raising a good kid, and the things they do are just cringeworthy. They'll be telling me some "cute" story about their kid and the only thing running through my head is paper after paper of scientific conclusions just screaming at how wrong they are and all the negative side effects that will occur as a result of their mistakes.
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Re: Dog owners face ‘competency test’

#17  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 03, 2010 7:49 am

riddlemethis wrote:
Whilst I'm a proponent of the Triple P approach MrS, I'm going to have to say I think mandatory parenting classes is an extraordinary leap & I can't see upon what basis the expense could be justified (although I can see why the people with the license to the method might lobby that it is necessary!). These kinds of methodologies are only as good as the consistency with which they are applied in the first place & secondly it is an enormous value-judgment that there is only one 'correct' way to raise a child. I don't want to derail this too much, and perhaps I'll look to see if we have a thread on this in the psych section, but I did want to put these points on the table.


I suppose that's just where we differ then, I think parents being taught how to properly raise their kids is worth almost any expense (and with things like triple-P being done online these days, the costs are minimal). And whilst I agree there is no "one right way" to raise your kid, there is only "one right way" to control their behavior and prevent problem behaviors. That is to say, whilst the values and opinions you wish to pass on to your children is ultimately up to you, there is literally only one way to increase good behaviors and reduce bad behaviors, and that's what parents need training on.

riddlemethis wrote:As to the 'dog test'. Nup. It simply isn't worth the cost involved to the community just as a starting point. Although as an exercise in diminishing the numbers of 'owned' animals I kind of like the idea, but that is simply a personal bias which I'd never really think it is ok to force on others. I am definitely for mandatory registration & wouldn't mind if more 'renowned' breeds required dog & owner to do some intensive training to ensure public safety perhaps. . .hmmm


As far as I'm aware, the biggest predictor of a dog attacking someone is the training they receive, and the type of dog has no predictive value (once you account for the fact that certain breeds being trained to attack, making them more likely to bite due to the training). Which makes sense, considering all dogs are the same sub-species so we wouldn't expect any major behavioral differences across breeds.

In other words, giving extra training to certain breeds to reduce dog attacks won't help any more than trying to reduce the effects of global warming by eliminating pirates..
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#18  Postby Crocodile Gandhi » Mar 03, 2010 7:53 am

Mr Samsa, have you got a link explaining this Triple P thing?
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Re: Dog owners face ‘competency test’

#19  Postby riddlemethis » Mar 03, 2010 8:09 am

Mr.Samsa wrote:
riddlemethis wrote:
Whilst I'm a proponent of the Triple P approach MrS, I'm going to have to say I think mandatory parenting classes is an extraordinary leap & I can't see upon what basis the expense could be justified (although I can see why the people with the license to the method might lobby that it is necessary!). These kinds of methodologies are only as good as the consistency with which they are applied in the first place & secondly it is an enormous value-judgment that there is only one 'correct' way to raise a child. I don't want to derail this too much, and perhaps I'll look to see if we have a thread on this in the psych section, but I did want to put these points on the table.


I suppose that's just where we differ then, I think parents being taught how to properly raise their kids is worth almost any expense (and with things like triple-P being done online these days, the costs are minimal). And whilst I agree there is no "one right way" to raise your kid, there is only "one right way" to control their behavior and prevent problem behaviors. That is to say, whilst the values and opinions you wish to pass on to your children is ultimately up to you, there is literally only one way to increase good behaviors and reduce bad behaviors, and that's what parents need training on.


Hmmm, well, I think there are generations of successfully raised children that demonstrate this may not be the case. :scratch: None-the-less, a child's behaviours is simply the manifestation of the values of a family as far as I can see. The best way to promote good behaviour in children is by modeling it. Where adults behave badly, children behave badly. There also simply has to be some latitude given for the age of the child you are dealing with (which is why the program is pitched only at families with 4-12 yr olds). What I do like about Triple P is that it isn't a plan for controlling children's behaviour, it is more about controlling the parents behaviour (ie: be consistent, be clear & simple in your expectations, follow through, keep your temper), just spun in a pretty package :grin: . However, not all adults who become parents need this behaviour control & engaging the people who desperately do is going to take a bit more than an online course before they have any experience in kid-wrangling.

Mr Samsa wrote:
riddlemethis wrote:As to the 'dog test'. Nup. It simply isn't worth the cost involved to the community just as a starting point. Although as an exercise in diminishing the numbers of 'owned' animals I kind of like the idea, but that is simply a personal bias which I'd never really think it is ok to force on others. I am definitely for mandatory registration & wouldn't mind if more 'renowned' breeds required dog & owner to do some intensive training to ensure public safety perhaps. . .hmmm


As far as I'm aware, the biggest predictor of a dog attacking someone is the training they receive, and the type of dog has no predictive value (once you account for the fact that certain breeds being trained to attack, making them more likely to bite due to the training). Which makes sense, considering all dogs are the same sub-species so we wouldn't expect any major behavioral differences across breeds.

In other words, giving extra training to certain breeds to reduce dog attacks won't help any more than trying to reduce the effects of global warming by eliminating pirates..


Fair enough. In that case, send 'em all to school, 'cause dogs bite.
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#20  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 03, 2010 8:44 am

Crocodile Gandhi wrote:Mr Samsa, have you got a link explaining this Triple P thing?


You could try their website: http://www.triplep.net/ - it's quite badly organised, in my opinion, but all the basic information seems to be there.

Otherwise you can do a google scholar search for "Positive Parenting Program" or "Matthew Sanders" and you'll literally get pages and pages of peer reviewed research on the subject. It's an incredibly successful program.

riddlemethis wrote:
Hmmm, well, I think there are generations of successfully raised children that demonstrate this may not be the case. :scratch:


I think it again depends on our definitions of "successful"..

riddlemethis wrote:None-the-less, a child's behaviours is simply the manifestation of the values of a family as far as I can see. The best way to promote good behaviour in children is by modeling it. Where adults behave badly, children behave badly. There also simply has to be some latitude given for the age of the child you are dealing with (which is why the program is pitched only at families with 4-12 yr olds). What I do like about Triple P is that it isn't a plan for controlling children's behaviour, it is more about controlling the parents behaviour (ie: be consistent, be clear & simple in your expectations, follow through, keep your temper), just spun in a pretty package :grin: . However, not all adults who become parents need this behaviour control & engaging the people who desperately do is going to take a bit more than an online course before they have any experience in kid-wrangling.


All valid points. Triple-P does focus on changing the environment so problem behavior doesn't occur in the first place - this is still parent training though. And it does teach parents how to correct problem behaviors when they occur. And whilst it's true that an online course won't be enough for some parents, that's why triple-P is multi-tiered giving more intensive training to those who need it.

riddlemethis wrote:Fair enough. In that case, send 'em all to school, 'cause dogs bite.


Which is the subject of the thread and I agree! :grin:
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