Parenting Tips for the Clueless
Don’t throw your child over a fence, and other rules you might not know
The media is so full of stories about politics, elections and coronavirus that I decided to cast around for news that didn’t concern these hot button topics.
And this is what I found:
An elementary school in France has banned late-arriving parents from hurling their kids over its closed gate when dropping them off.
You heard me right! Parents are hurling their kids over a fence.
And it isn’t just a little fence. According to the principal, it’s a six-footer.
Maybe you’re different, but I couldn’t lift a child gently and gracefully over a six-foot fence. I would have to sling the child with all the force I could muster, like flinging a cat by its tail, and even with that effort the child would likely land smack into it.
A dangerous business.
The principle of the school agrees. She said it was only a matter of time before a child got hurt.
Educators put up posters at the school’s entrance depicting an adult throwing a kid over a fence with the words “Attention Danger.”
The prospect of hurling children over fences did two things for me. It showed me real life beats satire, and it aroused my curiosity about other unusual laws and regulations related to parents and kids.
So instead of reading about election fraud and a steep rise in COVID-19 cases, I searched the internet for bizarre rules related to parenting.
I’m posting a few of them here, in case you, too, are ready for a news break.
In Alaska, no child is allowed to build a snowman taller than himself/herself on school property. Why? Because teachers might not be able to tell a real child from a snowman.
I think I could tell a child from a snowman, but maybe not. And when do children have time during school to build snowmen that big, anyway?
But I guess it’s a moot point with virtual schooling, unless somebody decides to play hooky by putting a snowman in front of their computer.
In New Zealand, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West would need to choose a different name for their child, because they wouldn’t be allowed to name it Saint.
This is a jolt to our wild west, anything goes American mentality. Whoever heard of telling us what we can name our kids?
But in New Zealand, you can’t give your children names that resemble official titles. That goes for names like Prince, King and Royal, too. Parents who tried it were disappointed, as those have been some of the most commonly rejected names.
Moving on to Poland, be careful about sending your kid to school in a Winnie the Pooh shirt. One village in Poland issued a ban on Winnie the Pool because the character was found to be too risqué for impressionable children.
You’re wondering why?
Hadn’t you noticed the bear doesn’t have on any pants? He’s just wearing a t shirt, and therein lies the problem.
In Mexico, the pandemic has led to new public policies designed to protect the health of children. The latest of these is an anti-junk food law in the southern state of Oaxaca.
In a vote of 31 to 1, legislators agreed to ban the sale of items such as chips, candy and soda to people under 18, placing these items in the same category as cigarettes and alcohol.
The law establishes fines and jail time for repeat offenders.
This one reminded me of when former mayor Bloomberg tried to ban super-size soft drinks in New York. That one bombed when the city council voted it down, so you can still go to New York and drink your big soda. But don’t think about it if you’re a kid in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Kids might be able to get a big soda in New York, but they can’t sing nursery rhymes after 8 p.m. in Arizona.
And because of another “A” state, Arkansas, I have to take back what I said about American parents being able to name their kids anything they want. In Arkansas, it’s illegal to call your child Zabradacka.
And I was going to suggest that one for my next grandchild. Think my kids would object?
I wonder what barbers in Indiana have been up to, because in Indiana it’s illegal for barbers to threaten to cut off a child’s ears.
And in my own state of Georgia, there are three things your kids better not do: carry an ice cream cone in their back pocket, keep their pet donkey in the bathtub, or fly a model airplane near the Columbus County morgue.
I know your children are probably freaking out about these restrictions to their civil liberties, but there are reasons behind every law.
Horse thieves used to put ice cream cones in their back pockets to lure horses into following them, kind of like the Pied Piper of Hamelin luring children out of town.
And nobody wanted the dead at Columbus County morgue disturbed or disrespected by model airplanes whizzing around.
I couldn’t find a reason for the donkey in the bathtub law, and although one of my grandchildren has a pet donkey, I don’t think they’ve broken the law, since I’ve never seen a bathtub in the yard.
There are more of these regulations, but this is probably enough to get your mind off politics and coronavirus for a while.
As Benjamin Franklin said, “Trouble knocked at the door, but, hearing laughter, hurried away.”