Parents are turning to the “third umpire” for assistance as disputes break out in households across Australia in early school holiday action.
Already a fixture in cricket, the Decision Referral System – or DRS – is being used to bolster parental decision-making amid concerns over the ability of parents to keep up with the speed of the modern child.
“All indications are that we are in for a bumper summer of school holidays as old sibling rivalries are renewed,” said parenting advocate and father of eleven, Bitchie Renaud. “The DRS is all about creating a level playing field.”
Under the DRS, family members can refer dubious parental decisions and controversial punishments to a third party adjudicator to rule if they are correct.
“We brought in the Pinch-o-meter last season and the Snide-comment-o-phone the summer before but we were still finding that errors were being made,” said Mr Renaud. “Families deserve better and the public deserves better. Parents are doing their very best but the modern world is so fast that we had to introduce more technology.”
Mr Renaud hopes the use of the DRS will eliminate the so-called “howlers” that parents sometimes make under pressure.
“This is about taking parenting to a new level. Childhood is international these days and we have to bring professionalism to all forms of it. It may be that the third umpire slows family life down a bit but we don’t see that as a bad thing.”
The move is not without controversy.
Traditionalists maintain that children should be walking if they know they have done the wrong thing.
“Kids should walk more and argue less,” said a spokesman for Suncorp, this summer’s official sponsor of the baggy green pants favoured by patriotic parents.
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