"Parentage is a very important profession, but no test of fitness for it is ever imposed in the interest of the children." - George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
Recently in Bad Parents Category
Why do we let things like this happen and THEN react to them instead of trying to prevent them in the first place?
Seriously...we need a license to drive a car, run a business, and own a dog, yet we don't need any certification whatsoever to raise children. Do we care more about the welfare and living conditions of dogs than we do our children?
These kids will grow up and join society one day...we owe it to them to ensure their parents, or whoever is going to care for them, are fit and willing to do the task. Certification that the parents are reasonably responsible doesn't seem like an undue burden to me...after all, these kids' very lives are on the line.
From CNN comes a video story about a California mom who used her three young daughters (ages 10, 9, and 5) to help her sneak stolen clothing out of a Sears.
From the story on the KXTV.com website, it sounds like this mother has been previously convicted of theft and been a prior subject of investigation by Child Protective Services.
You know, I like to see people enjoying quality mother-daughter time as much as anyone, but this makes you wonder what can be done to help prevent children from being raised by such unfit parents.
It seems that we're hearing more and more cases of parents, guardians, and especially "the mom's boyfriend" convicted of "child endangering."
Take this story of three moms charged with child endangering; one of them is only facing jail time after endangering her second child (her first child was killed in her home in 2005).
Let me get this straight: the courts said "you're a bad mom" and put her on parole for four years for endangering her child (letting it be killed), yet had no oversight over this new kid? That seems pretty short-sighted.
To relate it to drunk driving, which seems to carry similar penalties, imagine that I'm convicted of driving my Camry while intoxicated, so the court says I have to install a breathalyzer-style monitoring system in it. But, if I buy a new car, there's no such requirement. That seems to be the same sort of approach the courts take regarding child endangering.
So here's the question: How do we prevent people who put their children in harm from harming future children they may have? A related question is what do we do with all these kids who get taken away from their bad parents when there aren't enough foster homes and adoption parents to go around? Short of forced sterilization (which I think would be a hard sell for most people), I'm stumped.
Sound absurd? It apparently didn't to a Florida woman who pulled into a car wash to turn a sprayer on her 2-year-old daughter (CNN.com) to punish her. According to the car wash owner, the water pressure is sufficient to strip skin from bone. Thankfully, the little girl wasn't injured.
But get this: the mom is 5-months pregnant.
If she can't properly parent her current child, why should she be allowed to have another one without some form of training and/or certification that she's fit to do so?
Police: Couple Abandoned Baby So They Could Party
GLENDALE, Wis. -- A Glendale couple said they couldn't afford a baby sitter, so they strapped their 14-month-old son in his stroller at home while the couple went out, police alleged.
Rachel Anderson and her live-in boyfriend, Mitch Laputka, were ordered to stand trial Thursday on charges they neglected baby Gabriel so badly that his body was covered with diaper rash, his body temperature was 12 degrees below normal and he stopped breathing, requiring 21 minutes of CPR to revive him. Police said the couple admitted to leaving the boy home alone because they wanted to party.
The couple recently got jobs at Pizza Hut, police said Anderson told them, and the couple used the money for drinking parties. Police said Anderson told them that she often left Gabriel strapped in his stroller when the couple went out or to work, and that she changed Gabriel's diaper once per day. Police said Laputka told them that he didn't do diapers, that was Anderson's job.
Read the whole story (WISN.com)
We need a government permit to hunt, fish, drive a car, run a business, return to the country after traveling outside it, build a house, dig a well, camp, boat, and own certain types of animals, but not to create and raise a new human being, perhaps the biggest responsibility there is.
How in the world does that make sense?
There are many, many ways a parent can be supportive of his/her children's extracurricular activities and outside interests, but dropping off and picking up your kids so they can rob a house just isn't recommended.
Police: Mom Drove Kids To, From Burglary
ATLANTA -- A young boy's mother drove a getaway car for her son and other local teens involved in a burglary spree, police said Friday.
Police continue to look for Lakechia Woodard, 36, for driving her 12-year-old son and three friends to a house off Flat Shoals Road where they stole 14 rifles. The rifles were collectibles worth thousands of dollars. Electronics and clothes were also stolen.
Woodard then picked the young boys up after the burglary and drove them to the west end to sell the items on the street, police said.
Read the whole story (WSBTV.com)
Soccer, band, and drama club are much better alternatives.
Apparently, at least one drug-influenced mother felt that her infant might make an effective missile weapon when she flung the child at a police officer.
Police: Irate Woman Throws Baby At Trooper
NORTH EAST, Md. -- A Maryland mother was arraigned on drug and child abuse charges after police said she threw her 6-month-old child across a room at a police officer.
The child struck the trooper's chest and he caught the baby just before it hit the floor, according to court documents. Doninger then shoved the trooper, striking both him and the baby.
Read the entire story (WBALTV.com)
I'm glad the baby's fine, but when you risk doing more damage to your assault weapon than to the person you're assaulting, it's time to find a different weapon.
This post from The Last Psychiatrist blog -- "The Scariest Thing I Have Ever Seen" -- is both amusing and shocking and describes a situation in which I hope I never find myself, for I feel I'd do something I'd regret (like grabbing the kids and sprinting for the nearest police station).
On the screen is a murder so grisly I cannot actually describe it, but I don't even see it, it doesn't register at all-- I'm looking instead at this. What I see cannot be real.
A second later I breathe, and it's an audible gasp. And what I see, what I see-- is this: [image deleted]
Maybe the picture is too dark. Or maybe it's your unconscious deliberately blocking it out. So I'll tell you: it's a double stroller.
Thanks to Mitch for the link.
Oh, good grief.
School Bans Tag After Parents Complain
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A Colorado Springs elementary school is banning the game of tag on its playground -- after some children complained that they'd been chased or harassed against their will.
Assistant Principal Cindy Fesgen of the Discovery Canyon Campus school said running games will be allowed, as long as students don't chase each other.
Read the whole story (TheDenverChannel.com)
I predict the next thing to go will be the formation of single-file lines, as that might make students near the back of the line feel demeaned by the students ahead of them. Or maybe we should get rid of the jungle gyms; after all, the fat/weak kids who can't pull themselves up might feel socially inadequate in front of their peers. And we can't have that, now, can we?
As a general rule, guns and children should never be within a mile of each other, for it's inevitable what will happen if they are.
3-Year-Old Shoots 6-Year-Old
Police: Man Stored Gun Behind Stove
MILWAUKEE -- A 6-year-old boy is recovering after being shot Tuesday night.
Milwaukee police said a 3-year-old girl found a gun inside a home near Teutonia Avenue and Chambers Street and pulled the trigger. Investigators said the bullet hit the 6-year-old in the stomach.
A 32-year-old man who lives in the house told police he stores a loaded gun behind the stove and that the girl got a hold of it somehow and walked into a room where two 6-year-old boys were playing.
Read the entire story (WISN.com)
The fact that our gun control laws are ineffective doesn't mean we shouldn't have gun control laws, it just means we need better (and more consistently enforced) gun control laws.
Parenting while drunk is bad.
Beating your kids is worse.
Being drunk and beating your children while on a commercial airplane, and then threatening the flight attendant who asks you to stop beating your children is just a terrible idea.
Mom charged with beating kids on plane
A California mother was charged with beating her children, ages 2 and 4, on a commercial aircraft and interfering with the flight crew.
Tamera Freeman, 38, who appeared in court on Wednesday, was arrested on Monday at Denver International Airport upon her arrival on a Frontier Airlines flight from San Francisco, California.
An FBI affidavit quotes passengers as saying Freeman appeared intoxicated, was abusive with her children before she boarded the plane and repeatedly hit and yelled at them during the flight.
The affidavit also alleges Freeman threw a drink at the feet of a flight attendant and followed her into an aisle yelling and pointing her finger, causing the attendant, who had intervened on the children's behalf, to feel threatened.
Read the whole story (CNN)
Adults who routinely abuse children deserve nothing less...or more.
Man accused of biting off 3-year-old's lip, ear
NEW BEDFORD, Massachusetts (AP) -- A man accused of biting off the lip and ear of his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter pleaded not guilty Thursday and was ordered held without bail.
Bryan James, 34, was charged with assault and battery upon a child causing substantial bodily injuries. Police said the attack left the girl so mutilated doctors could not fully repair the damage.
The child's mother, Jessica Silveria, 26, pleaded not guilty to permitting substantial injuries to a child under 14 and intimidation of a witness. She was also ordered held without bail.
The girl lost the upper part of her lip and her ear was so mutilated that surgery could not return it to its natural state. The child also suffered other human bites on her body, New Bedford police Capt. Richard Spirlet said.
Read the whole story (CNN)