A public interest endeavour dedicated to the ongoing improvement of The Social Contract.

Please note the introduction of the following amendments to The Social Contract. These matters pertain specifically to Appendix G: Talking About Your Child.

Please note the following important amendments:

The preamble to this section has been revised due to previous confusion surrounding the socially acceptable manner in which persons may speak about their own offspring in a public space. It stipulates that unsolicited child-talk lasting for more than five (5) consecutive minutes is “a sometimes activity” and that in all circumstances without limitation or hindrance it is important to “remember our listening”.

Interesting to note the new distinction (set out in 3.2.1) between “incessant or obnoxious” conduct (which is a strict liability offence) and people talking about their lives (permissible, although not always; see for example “If You Are a CrossFit Enthusiast” in 3.2.1).

“Incessant or obnoxious” conduct for the purposes of this area of law covers a range of behaviours but includes:

  1. Discussions regarding “the best schools”;
  2. The deployment of the phrase “very advanced” without obvious ironic intent;
  3. Referring to one’s child as “Mister Two”, “Little Miss Four” or, collectively, “the rascals” with an affectionate eye-roll which seems to say “they are actually very advanced and going to the best schools”;
  4. Making comments about your child including when your child is in earshot, saying things like “Darcy doesn’t seem to be able to COUNT! We’re worried he’s a bit STUPID!” Note this offence carries with it a maximum sentence of Darcy getting a fake ID and “anger issues” right when you thought you were done with parenting.

Incidentally, there is a section dedicated to social media including an exhaustive list of banned hashtags and provision for the prosecution of “cute dad” memes that wouldn’t be cute if mums were doing them (see, for example, 9.1.2 “singing Frozen in the car and calling your kid little buddy”).

Note similar provisions for posts by mums declaring dinner “a terrible mess but Mister Five will just have to deal” beneath a picture of a rainbow of vegetables whittled down to replicate family members with seeds for eyes, pea pod hats and carrot skirts, framed by handmade bunting dangling above a hot cup of tea and some fresh scones perched on a Stephanie Alexander cookbook which has fallen into a ray of late afternoon sun.

These laws come into effect immediately.

Remember: ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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