Thursday, February 5, 2009

Staying Out Of Jail is as Easy as Taking Candy From a Baby

If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you may have read here or here about my parenting failures. We all have parenting failures from time to time. I know I'm in good company because no one is perfect. If I have a good day with the kids, I don't even dare think that I'm doing an awesome job because I know the minute I do, one of them will shoplift a toy or call their sibling a stupid loser.


Making decisions about the health and well-being of our children is a both simple and tricky. We should inherently know what is dangerous and what is safe. Obviously knives are not safe for children. Neither are matches. Or guns. But, what is the right age for a child to learn how to use a knife at the table? Or build a bonfire while camping? Or shoot a BB gun? I think those questions have so many variables: how much supervision will take place? How old is the child? What is the child's maturity level? Has the child witnessed people acting responsibly while using these things in the past?


Now, I've never heard of a parenting class offered, titled "Common Sense Stuff You Need To Know About Having Kids". But, maybe one should be offered. I'm sure you've all heard of the mom from California who had octuplets last week. Did you know she has 6 other children too? All under the age of 8? And one of them is autistic? And she's a single mom? And unemployed? While we all want to believe that we have our children's best interests at heart, I think some people just simply don't have enough common sense to be a good role model for their own kids. And, this is NOT about being a single parent... this is about recognizing limits. I wonder if she really thought that she could do a good job raising 14 children on her own. Don't each of her kids deserve that? Her own mother has begged her not to have more children and has stated she will not be helping with the octuplets. And, she will not have any help from the octuplets' father, because they were all conceived through a sperm donor. Now what?


Today I heard a news story about a woman in Dallas who is being charged with neglect in the death of her 9-year-old daughter. Chasity Butler died due to complications from diabetes. EMT workers found her in bed next to a half-eaten cupcake and a bag of candy. Dallas police claim that her mother failed to properly monitor her disease. She is even accused of adding to her daughter's medical problems by giving her access to dangerous foods, like candy and other sweets. Her husband defended her, saying that they are "young parents, struggling to do their best."


ARE YOU KIDDING ME? If you are old enough to be the parents of 5 children, vote, own a gun, pay a mortgage, and sign contracts, then you are old enough to take responsibility for your actions (or lack thereof).


Every parent makes mistakes along the way. Hopefully they can learn from their mistakes and not let a situation get out of control. So, when I see families in crisis, I get angry. But, my anger quickly turns to sadness. I wonder, did anyone ever show them how to parent? Did they themselves have lousy role models? What is so different today that so many folks are unable to raise children responsibly? Is it really inability, or is it just plain laziness? Or unwillingness? What do you think?

12 comments:

The Blonde Duck said...

Saying hi from SITS!

Erika said...

Ugg! So when I hit preview it lost my comment! Why oh why didn't I copy first?? Let me see if I can remember what all I said...

Well, I'm stopping by from SITS and here is my opinion. About twenty or thirty years ago American parents were conditioned (by society? psychologists writing self-help books?) into thinking that they must preserve their child's precious "self esteem" at all costs and that they must, must, must make sure their child was always "happy." So these children got used to everything being about them and everything being easy. Fast forward twenty years and now these children are grown and having kids and realizing that, "Wow, this is hard!" and, "Now it's not just about me anymore!" and they want to take a cop out like they did when they were kids and things got hard. So who do they cop out to?? Their parents. And if their parents finally make them step up to their responsibilities, then they cop out to the rest of us taxpayers. (Hmmm... sounds a bit like certain car manufacturers and mortgage companies...)

Okay, I'll hop down off my soap box now. Sorry for the rant on my first comment on your blog!!

April said...

I agree with you on it all. Also, I haven't read the article (I will in a second) but there has to be more to it than the child eating half a cupcake and some candy. My son has type 1 diabetes and that would make his blood sugar high but not kill him. It would have to be a lot more neglegence going on. It's not the food that hurts them, it's the lack of insulin. French fries are worse than candy when it concerns a diabetic's blood sugar without the proper amount of insulin. If having cupcakes and candy in a house with a diabetic can be concidered neglect, then cuff me now.
Ok, I guess I should have read the article first. I'll go read it now.

April said...

OK, I went and read the article. Yes, these parents don't deserve to have their children (but i thought that before I read it).
2 things bugged me about the article. 1st, it is not just sugar that raises your blood suger, it is mainly carbs. So many people don't realize that and the article made it sound like it was the sugar. A bag of potatoe chips will raise my sons sugar higher and last longer than some candy.
2nd, the article said diabetes is difficult to manage. Um, no it's not. It's fairly easy if you can do simple math.
What this woman did, she did out of pure lazyness and deserves to be in jail.
Ok, I'm done now.

Jen said...

The whole octuplets story just outrages me. I agree with what you said here. Take responsibility for your actions. Come on people, really. You have to take test in order to drive a car, maybe we should require some kind of test for having kids.

Noah's Mommy said...

I tell you what....being a parent should be a privilage...not a right...and the octuplet thing....amazing...and I heard that it is against medical practice to implant more than two embryos at one time....when doing invitro...that the doctors should have known better...and obviously her (the moms) parents are enabling the situation by continuing to allow their single daughter to live with them without working....or paying bills...and having these kids....maybe they should go to parenting class as well....(sorry I'll step off my soap box now)

Mandy said...

I think bad parenting is a learned behavior to an extent. There are some out there who are just plain lazy. They could have Donna Reed for a mother and that dude from Father Knows Best and still be a terrible parent. But for the most part, it is definitely a learned behavior.

Chris said...

I read your post this morning and have been thinking about it all day. All day... during my normal "I want to help my children grow up to be responsible adults & parents and I will show them by example" routine. I tried to think of a good response to the topics you brought up. My problem is, this is a classy site. A "use your words" type blog. The only words that describe the way I feel about these 2 stories, are very ugly words! So I will keep them to myself.

So I'm commenting to say... No Comment. =D

Chris said...

I just realized that that comment made it sound like I had ugly words for YOU, Texan Mama. I most definitely do not. I meant that the only way to describe my feelings about those stories and the people involved are to use nasty words. =D Hope there was no confusion.

Aleta said...

Hmmm.... Ok, so I'm thinking and I'm sure there will be plenty of folks who disagree...

But ~ to look at my own childhood - we HAD to respect our elders. We had responsibilities, we were punished (by belt or otherwise) when we did wrong, we didn't always make the teams and we didn't always have to win. We respected education and the teachers.


Think about kids growing up now. The children weren't taught to respect the parents, much less elders or teachers. Worse still, they are taught that EVERYONE is a winner and no bad feelings and no punishments.

How can they take on responsibility when they were never taught it via respect, effort, education... *sigh*

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

I am angry with the doctor that allowed that woman to have those additional children just as much as her responsible self. AND, also a 9 year old diabetic should be more in charge of the disease than a 3 year old, but having that much candy around is stupid.

andy said...

Just read the story on the octuplets...still trying to digest it. There's got to be some kind of disorder for breeding without due care and attention...my goodness.

And re: the diabetic child dying? It is instances like these that make me realize that I'm a pretty decent parent. Not that I'm judging...'cause I try real hard to stay away from it. And I mean REAL HARD.