What regulation cannot do

Ok, so yesterday I made a case for regulation. There is a place for regulation in society.

This morning I caught a headline on page 3 as I was hurrying out the door. It was something about parents still allowing kids to watch too much television. I didn’t have time to read the article, but hope to this evening.

One thing that came to mind, of course, was the expectation that someone would have suggested that regulation might help.  I’ll admit having lamented that parenthood itself be brought under licensing or some other control structure, television time as well as the rest of parenting, are things that will not, indeed cannot be “fixed” with regulation.

Regulation may be necessary, even good, for limiting heat-related injuries (see yesterday’s post), but to correct the problems of child-rearing and many of the other challenges of parenting, it just won’t do.

This actually brings some clarity for me on the need for and limitation of regulation.  Regulation is needed where behavior is, or threatens to be, so far out of hand that well-being is threatened.  At the same time, regulation can hardly be expected to change attitudes.

Behavior changed because of legal requirements may be a good thing, but behavior changes because of change of mind and attitude is a far better thing.

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