Parenting 101

August 29, 2006 at 2:08 pm | Posted in What the hell? | Leave a comment

I try not to pass judgment on other parents because frankly, parenting is the hardest job in the world.  But lately a string of incidents have me really wondering what the hell is going on out there. 

The first, and I couldn’t find a link back to the article because it has apparently been a while, was about a young child in the Western suburbs who drown.  If I remember the story correctly the boy, who I’m thinking was somewhere around the age of 3-4, “snuck” out of his house and wandered away.  I believe he was found later the same day or early the next day in the shallows of a river drowned.  The initial reports were lacking a bit of substance indicating simply that the boy had drown.  My heart ached for his family and friends having to cope with such a loss.  Over the next day or two additional stories ran that included quotes from neighbors indicating that the child had a history of “escaping” from the house and “wandering” the neighborhood. 

I have been blessed with a terribly “easy” child as I’m reminded by my sisters and mother quite regularly.  I have no idea what it is like to have a climber (my almost 3 yr old daughter is still in a crib because she hasn’t even attempted to climb out) let alone a sneaker and wanderer.  HOWEVER, as soon as Sophie figured out how to open a door I never left her unattended around an unlocked door because I knew she would open the door and go outside.  So I’m wondering at what point when you have a known “escaper” and “wanderer” do you lock the child inside with whatever means necessary to protect them?  Seriously?!  My heart aches for that child but I’m so pissed at the parents I can’t even see straight when I think about it.

The second incident occurred earlier this month when a 10 year old girl collapsed and died after riding a roller coaster at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee.  Back in 2002, an 11 year old girl also died after riding a different roller coaster at the same theme park.  What do these girls have in common? Both had a history of heart problems known to their families.  So my response?  WTF are these families thinking?  Anyone who has been to a Six Flags or Disney theme park are aware that all rides have warnings at the entrance regarding pregnant women and people with heart conditions.  So why in God’s name are parents letting their children go on these rides???

It may be easy to judge from the outside and I may be making too simple a conclusion based on a small bit of evidence presented in the news.  But I just don’t understand why, when there is a known issue whether it be a medical condition or a spirited, clever demeanor, aren’t parents protecting their children more and are they surprised to know that there are people like me out there who have no sympathy for them what so ever?

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