Too often as a spoiled society, we throw off the misfortunes of children with blame pointed at the deadbeat, degenerate parents. That's just not fair. A child can no more be held responsible for living in deplorable conditions than they can be charged with a crime if one or both of their parents are drug dealers. It's despicable and disgraceful to levy such an opinion of judgment.
To reinforce my charged up misgivings about the ineptitude of some parents, I see the following pamphlet, which is distributed by the State of Tennessee, displayed at my toddler's preschool as I'm leaving this morning...
You've got to be kidding me! Is this what things have come to...that certain parents need a state published pamphlet to tell them not to shake their baby? That you don't have the decency to make sure that your kids are properly clothed and receive adequate nutrition? That you need someone to tell you to keep your children clean and ensure they receive at least minimal medical attention?
Maybe I'm naive, even ignorant, to the point of refusing to believe such neglect is commonplace. Being a parent is one of the greatest blessings from God...period. Deviants and derelicts are a part of any society, and I understand that, but such behavior shouldn't be so common that state and federal agencies must mass produce literature to remind parents of their proper parental responsibilities. Yes...there should be agencies with authority to intervene in such cases and remove children from harmful situations...absolutely. My frustration stems from the fact that we've allowed things to get to this point.
I'm not talking about a third-world country or places far off from here either. Children are being neglected and abused right under our noses each and every day. There's a vast difference between a bad parent and a negligent, abusive parent too. Parenting poorly is often a result of the learning curve involved and comes with the process. Bad parents spoil their children and deny them lessons in responsibility. Bad parents let their children walk all over them and give in to ridiculous demands for the sake of keeping peace. Bad parents turn their head to inappropriate behaviors in order to avoid confrontation.
Of course, bad parenting can lead to neglectful parenting, but to deny your own child the necessities of life...not gaming systems, iPods, name-brand clothing and cell phones...I'm talking about the absolute necessities for life called food, shelter, clothing and cleanliness.
Wait...I know what's missing from that list. Love.
Our children need our love above all else. I find it hard to believe a loving parent could also be a neglectful parent. Dear Lord...I hope I'm right. We all need to take time for a neglected child right in our own communities and do some act of kindness and love for them. This isn't a political issue that breaks down to Democrats/Republicans or conservative/liberal either. This is a human issue that affects us all. Don't just read this and agree that it's a good point. Act!
Unfortunately, it probably won't be hard to find someone once you start looking.