We’ll help, after you fail: State-run divorce class

There is one person who comments frequently on this site who blames almost all of society’s ills on poor parenting. I don’t disagree entirely with him.

We are the products of our parents.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard friends wishing that kids came with an instruction manual. Dr. Spock, the baby doc, made a lot of money with his guide to parenting: Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care: 8th Edition It’s 922 pages long, so apparently, raising a kid isn’t exactly child’s play.

We avoid talking about sex ed in school, because we may somehow tip kids off to what they seem to be perfectly able to figure out all by themselves: insert part P into slot V and we’re baby makers.

Getting married isn’t that tough either (unless you aren’t capable of making babies ’cause you’re both part p or slot v models)- take your $55 and go apply for a “marriage license” and off you go to legally sanctioned bliss.

No class or permit on the ins and outs of making babies, no class on how to “live happily ever after” – it’s easier to do either of these than getting a driver’s license.

But, should you make babies and decide to dump your mate, we’ve got a three-hour seminar that you are required to attend: “helpling children succeed after divorce.” It’s held at least three times a week at Sinclair Community College, and no, they don’t provide child care. You get the invite (it’s required) in a legal document- here’s what one looks like- sans names and case #:Court Order

Yep, after you fail at marriage, we’re going to tell you how to rear your kids- not before.

If we’re looking to cut programs from government to save money- let’s try cutting this one. It’s clearly government sticking its nose in where it doesn’t belong- and frankly, three hours isn’t going to even begin to cover what took Dr. Spock 922 pages, is it now?

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16 Responses

  1. Gene December 10, 2009 / 10:15 pm
    “There is one person who comments frequently on this site who blames almost all of societies ills on poor parenting. I don’t disagree entirely with him.”

    That would be me……. and you are welcome.

    Not to justify my arguments, but this liberal blog loves to complain about what is bad, yet never focus on the positive. The ‘burbs are nice and safe. Kids do well, generally. People get divorced. But a lot started with a “commitment.” Not so in certain areas. Especially when we talk about Dayton/Urban/poor people. There is little commitment there. Guys move in and out, never married, all the time. White, Black, whatever.

    People are not perfect. But I have the answers to be “more perfect.” As if that exists. Keep it simple. No kids until you are ready. And when you have them, well, simply put, love them. Simple.

    And I suggest that advise comes from those that actually have kids……… yet, they are the ones that frick it up, sooooooooo, good luck all!!!

    You fix that, you fix most of our “problems.”

  2. Jim December 10, 2009 / 10:55 pm
    I had to attend one of these myself a few years back, and I do think you’re being a bit too harsh.  The program focuses on helping kids focus on the horrific upheaval that a divorce brings upon them, and also reminds the parents of their ongoing duties.  Helping kids understand that its not their fault, letting them know that they don’t have to “choose” a parent, reminding the parents not to use kids as weapons, etc.
  3. David Lauri December 11, 2009 / 12:08 am
    There should be no need for this class.
    In 2004 the fine people of Ohio voted to protect traditional marriage in our state from the evils of gay marriage by passing Issue 1.  In 2008 the fine people of California voted to protect traditional marriage in their state from the evils of gay marriage by passing Proposition 8.
    In 2010 Californians will be asked to defend traditional marriage from the people who most threaten it, no, not the queers, wait for it, the breeders, who defile marriage by going against the teachings of Jesus and entering into marriages only to bail when the going gets tough by seeking refuge in divorce.  In 2010, Californians will be asked to do what God intended for marriage and ban divorce: http://rescuemarriage.org/
    If only Ohio would follow suit and ban divorce here too, there’d be no need for stupid state-mandated divorce classes because there’d be no more divorce.  Stop blaming the queers, breeders!  You’re the ones who’ve messed up divorce.  Just say no to divorce.
  4. David Esrati December 11, 2009 / 7:09 am

    @David L- I thought about including a reference to the divorce ban in CA- but, I knew I’d have you along to do it for me. Thanks. You are reliable like a one track record. As is Gene, for whom this post should be dedicated to. Of course, when I wrote the post about parenting problems before, he was strangely silent: http://esrati.com/?p=2711

  5. Nathan Driver December 11, 2009 / 8:22 am
    speechless and truly amazed. I would REALLY be interested in just how much it cost us (taxpayers that is) for each session to be held and all that goes into it.
  6. Bubba Jones December 11, 2009 / 8:59 am
    First of all, thanks to Gene for being so inspirational to David! :)
    Once again David writes about something that he knows nothing about.  And, predictably, David Lauri turns it into a gay vs. straight issue.
    David, if you actually knew anything about this seminar you’d know that it has nothing to do with “rearing” children.  It’s designed, as Jim pointed out above, to remind both parents that they still have a responsibility to their children even if they are the non-custodial parent.  And, it’s to remind parents not to use their children as “tools” or “weapons” against the other parent as well as not to use your children to “deliver messages” to the other parent.  For many, this is probably a good reminder as divorce often causes you to lose focus of many things.
    As far as the “cost” of this program, it’s paid for out of the fees that one pays when filing for divorce so it’s not directly paid for by the taxpayers at large.  At least in Montgomery it costs a lot more to get divorced than to get married.  But, sometimes it’s worth it! ;)
  7. David Esrati December 11, 2009 / 9:26 am

    @Bubba- you say:

    to remind both parents that they still have a responsibility to their children even if they are the non-custodial parent.  And, it’s to remind parents not to use their children as “tools” or “weapons” against the other parent as well as not to use your children to “deliver messages” to the other parent.

    We can do all the educating after – but, none before is my point. The costs of having a child- and the responsibilities- are something we should be stressing before we have children. That’s the message that’s missing. Great- it’s paid for out of the divorce fees- but, I’m starting to wonder if government should be involved in granting marriage licenses or divorce at all- our track record isn’t very good at either.

  8. David Lauri December 11, 2009 / 10:03 am
    I don’t know why you all think I’m talking about gay marriage.  I’m not.  My comments were about traditional marriage, i.e., heterosexual marriage, and were not the old, tired, “gay marriage should be legal” but apropos to the topic of David Esrati’s post.  David Esrati points out one of the problems caused by heterosexual divorce, and I say that problem would go away if you’d return to truly traditional marriage and ban divorce.
  9. Will Brooks December 11, 2009 / 10:07 am
    Makes me want to get divorced and not goto the damned class in protest.
  10. Bubba Jones December 11, 2009 / 11:06 am
    So, David Lauri – do think that if gay marriage was legal in Ohio that gays wouldn’t ever get divorced?  And, if a gay couple had children (through whatever means were necessary to achieve this goal, but the children “belonged” LEGALLY to both people) that there wouldn’t be custody issues in the case of a divorce?  I think that “gay divorces” would have exactly the same issues as “heterosexual divorces.”
    And, Will – go ahead and try to skip the class.  My guess is that you’d be slapped with a contempt citation.  Those two domestic relations judges ain’t the sweetest gals in the world! ;)
    Actually, the class wasn’t that bad.  Mostly common sense stuff but still a couple of useful tidbits of information.  And the refreshments were pretty tasty!! :)  Even though they don’t provide child care, they did validate your parking ticket.
  11. Pseudonymous December 11, 2009 / 11:34 am
    @ David: you do know that there’s at least a sizeable minority who thinks what you’re proposing (albeit satirically to demonstrate the alleged hypocrisy of Prop 8 voters) is not a bad idea, right?

    I’m going to have a good laugh if this thing passes.

  12. Steve Cartwright December 11, 2009 / 3:42 pm
    (Old joke alert.  Turn away now while you can.)

    Remember when kids would grow up, leave home, get married, and have childred?  They still do, just not in that order.

    (You’ve been a wonderful audience.  Be sure to tip your waitress.)

  13. David Lauri December 11, 2009 / 5:02 pm
    Bubba, stop trying to make this about gay marriage.  That’s not what this is about.
  14. Gene December 11, 2009 / 5:11 pm
    Gay marriage is legal and recognized? Where have I been? Oh, disciplining THE HELP.
  15. Robert Vigh December 11, 2009 / 5:33 pm
    I want to be a one track record too. Marriage should not be sanctioned by the state. No tax breaks, no state, just a spiritual commitment. This by the way would equalize rights for gay people, as what they are really seeking is state sanctioning, as their spiritual bond is already recognized.
    Or, as a baby step, keep marriage licenses but do away with any and all tax breaks. Each person has to file individually and immediately recognize gays rights to marry. At the same time, allow insurance companies to discriminate as to whether they will insure a same sex couples. This takes all the lobbying out and allows discriminators to be visibly seen by the public.
    And the program should be done away with. It should be offered and if parents want to pay to attend, have at it. But, state ordered class is …….well, not psychotically libertarian.
  16. Robert Vigh December 11, 2009 / 5:41 pm
    @DL stop talking about gay marriage all the time.

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