Washington legislators (and residents) need to stop harming parents by flirting with nonparental visitation. (House Bill 1506 proposes that a person who is not the parent of the child may petition for visitation with the child if the person has established an ongoing and substantial relationship with the child.)
Parents get the sole legal obligation for a child’s welfare. A parent who raises a brat gets stuck with a truant teen later. And if a child is abused or neglected, it’s the parent who is held responsible. Not stepparents, absentee parents, or grandparents.
Every parent occasionally encounters well-meaning onlookers with tips and tricks on how to parent more effectively. They get shrugged off as silly backseat driving from someone unfamiliar with the situation. That our legislators would consider a law giving meddlesome onlookers some sort of legal standing is truly terrifying, and as unwise as putting sports spectators into professional games.
Parenting is not a game, and it’s not about who gets a turn or who has a better strategy. What makes me a parent, not a pundit? That the buck stops here.