I just read a story about child abuse titled “In child abuse cases, do what’s best for the child, experts say.“
What disturbed me was this paragraph: “Four days before the baby’s death, 21-year-old Patrick A. Naquin of Houma, was arrested after he allegedly fractured the skull of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son in a fit of rage. The child is expected to recover. Naquin is charged with second-degree cruelty to a juvenile. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison.”
What stunned me was the charge being second-degree. And another statement in the article I found disturbing was, “Parents need to be more careful about who they leave their children with,..” Though this is very true, at the same time people are judging the primary caretakers of these children, they are cutting funds to programs that will help teach better parenting skills, provide safe housing AND provide day care assistance so children aren’t left in precarious care.
Yes, I know there are many people who claim “my parents didn’t have any parenting classes and I turned out just fine.” (though that is a matter of opinion) The fact is there are many people who haven’t the slightest clue of how to parent BECAUSE they never experienced good parenting themselves. You can’t give what you don’t have.
The bottom line is that when parents don’t have stable housing, child care assistance or parenting skills, children are more likely to suffer. Then we all talk of how awful it is when a particular case of child abuse ending in death shows up in the news. And we never connect the dots.