Should non-parents have a say in raising children?

Do you have to have children to have a view on parenting? [Photo: Getty]
Do you have to have children to have a view on parenting? [Photo: Getty]

A woman has kicked off a debate online about whether people who don’t have children can have an opinion on parenting.

Taking to Reddit the poster penned an impassioned post entitled “you’re not allowed to have an opinion on parenting if you don’t have kids.”

The original poster explained that she had a friend that she’d grown distant with over the past years since she met her SO [Significant Other] though they still interacted on social media.

“Fast forward to today and she’s now married to that same SO, has kids, and no degree because she let all that get in the way,” she wrote.

“Her social media feed consists of her kids, husband, and Mom posts. She’s definitely an entitled parent and her interests include breastfeeding in public and then posting it on social media to get a pat on the back for doing things people already do.”

Though none of that actually bothered the poster, she wanted to enlighten other users about the “kind of person she is.”

“But what REALLY bothers me is her belief that CF [Child Free] people are not allowed to voice their opinions on parenting or anything kid related,” she wrote.

“God forbid she sees anyone speak their mind on that topic if they haven’t pushed out a crotch goblin.”

The woman went on to say that she believes the fact she doesn’t have children does not mean she can’t have an opinion on the topic.

“I just think that the choice we are making shouldn’t disqualify us from holding opinions on certain things like ‘I don’t have a kid but if I did I definitely wouldn’t let them run around the store like that.’”

“That sentence alone triggers ‘you wouldn’t understand, you don’t have a kid, blah blah blah’,” she continued.

The poster finished her rant by revealing how much it was irritating her and how she’s looking for a response to use next time it happens.

Of course other posters were quick to wade in to offer their own opinions on the thorny subject.

Many shared the opinion of the original poster that not having children shouldn’t discount you from having a view on parenting.

“I am working hard to become a children’s counsellor, so it pisses me off that all the hard work and training and education I put into it, won’t be taken seriously since ‘I don’t have kids’,” one user wrote.

“One of the many reasons I’m not having kids is so I can devote my time to learning the best ways to teach you how to parent!” they added.

“If we’re not allowed to have opinions about parenting, then they’re not allowed to have opinions about life as a CF [Child Free} adult,” another added. “I know this doesn’t stop them but it would be nice.”

“We may not all have children, but we were all children once. We also were parented. We are allowed to have an opinion because we lived the experience of being patented as a child,” another user explained.

“I don’t need to be a parent to know when your kids are bad AF,” another commented simply.

Can you have an opinion on parenting if you don’t have children? [Photo: Getty]
Can you have an opinion on parenting if you don’t have children? [Photo: Getty]

However, some users could see where the original poster’s old friend was coming from.

“To some degree, I agree with this – in that when you have kids, a lot of your ‘I’ll nevers’ fly out the window because they are just not practical,” one wrote.

But the overwhelming majority seemed to be of the opinion that you didn’t need to be a parent to know about how to raise children.

“I don’t have to own a car to be able to tell if someone’s a shitty driver,” one user offered.

While another added: “The classic response is from comedian Steve Hofstetter: ‘I’ve never flown a helicopter. But if I saw one in a tree, I could still be like, ‘Dude fucked up. It’s not supposed to be up there. That’s pilot error.’”

This isn’t the only online parenting debate that has been raging of late. Last month a mum took to the Internet to ask if parents should buy new school uniforms every year.

And earlier this year, a woman’s twitter post about how people should think twice before asking when they are having kids went viral.

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