Why woke parenting harms our kids
WATCHING my son slice through his first steak while correctly holding his knife and fork wasn't a trigger point. Just an ordinary moment of relief that I'd taught him a skill.
Those childhood milestones are about equipping them for adulthood when they charge into the future without you.
So why is teaching manners so they don't grow up as slobs now targeted as an act of racism?
Common sense and traditional parenting are curses of modern life and as such must be politicised and crushed.
Gender is a handicap and if you're not progressive enough to insist your baby son or daughter be referred to via the acceptable pronoun 'they', then you, my parent friend, are laying the groundwork for a lifetime of mental trauma.
How else can you explain the skewed nonsense of a Toronto chef who is gaining traction in the jury of social media for pontificating that chastising a child for eating with their fingers is dangerous? Dripping with "the control and shame of colonisation", no less.
Or the couple hiding the gender of their 17-month-old baby to quarantine the child from the scourge of "unconscious bias"?
I was wrong in concluding that vaccinating my son and daughter from measles, mumps, meningitis and rubella was the priority when clearly the major health risk was them knowing if they were male or female.
Meanwhile Sea Life London hit the headlines last week when penguin keepers revealed they had placed a chick with a same-sex penguin couple where it would be raised as genderless.
Apparently this is a "first" for the aquarium, with keepers telling an interviewer that "it is completely natural for penguins in the wild to develop genderless identities as they grow into mature adults."
So if it's good enough for penguins, then apparently it's now good enough for humans.
Not so long ago the ABC questioned whether parents should read to their children before bedtime, claiming that you as a caring parent could give your kids an "unfair advantage" over less fortunate children.
So it's clear and depressing where this social engineering and destruction of mum and dad instinct is headed - it's us the ignorant and basic parents of old versus the modern enlightened breed who invented raising well-adjusted kids.
Hobbit Humphrey, mum of the non-sex baby, told the BBC: "So much of gender bias is unconscious. When I got pregnant we then were having a discussion about how we were going to mitigate the unconscious bias.
"And we figured that the only way we could do that was just not to tell people.
"To use the they/them pronoun for as long as we can, and create this little bubble for our baby to be who they are.
"Eventually they will get told by somebody that pink is only for girls and blue is only for boys, and you can't play with that because you are a particular sex."
Think of those first few moments with your new baby. To hold that little person in your arms for the first time is life changing.
The weight of responsibility settles around your shoulders at that moment as you realise how important the job ahead is. That little life is a clean slate.
One of the greatest joys for a parent is watching their little one's personality unfold - so why do we need to interfere with that?
As for manners, do we have to pigeon hole them before they can even speak in an effort to knots trying to manufacture a world that is as grey and neutral as possible?
To conflate culture with racism when it comes to manners is nonsensical. But the message that eating food with your hands is an unmannered way to eat is a real problem for me, says chef Joshna Maharaj.
"Suggesting that a child who eats with her hands has no manners is an echo of European colonial powers looking to tame the wildness out of the people they controlled," she trills.
"These European table manners were imposed on conquered people in an attempt to 'civilise' them.
"It's a damaging message about right and wrong ways to do things. It positions the technique as superior and the people who practise it as setters of the standard, leaving those with a different approach to eating with a status of inferiority."
Isn't it enough that we have stripped away their parents' confidence in trusting their own instinct, that we shun any childhood activity that poses even the slightest danger, such as climbing trees or building houses in them.
Lunch boxes are examined with microscopic care for items that might offend or pose the slightest risk to health and fitness.
We have instilled a need in so many parents to hover and provide safety net after safety net, shielding kids them from every disappointment, stubbed toe or normal playground confrontation.
We have shunned the use of words like 'bad', 'naughty' and 'no' in favour of giving children endless choices, when all they want boundaries.
These skewed views assume all social expectations of culture and gender are toxic.
Ultimately children need to know who they are and who they choose to be. To deny them that is the true definition of lame parenting.