I don't think the sub-editor meant "poor parents" as in financially poor, but parents with "poor" parenting skills.
This comment was raised following the awful, awful case of two brothers who pleaded guilty of torturing two other young boys. The previous post was referring to this case.
Martin Narey speaks the unspeakable. Remember the furore he last raised about 'feral children'?
Husband and I discussed this case at length and we said exactly that: take the babies away and put them up for adoption.
Yesterday I witnessed two incidents which left me wondering what sort of people become parents.
At a busy shopping centre a little girl, perhaps two years old was lying prone on the floor, having a tantrum. The parents -- big people, both bulky six foot something -- and another friend or family member just stood by and smiled.
I think their strategy was to let her get tired from whatever she was doing and calm down -- in her own time.
Why they did not just scoop her up, that little body, tell her off in no uncertain terms and take her home?
When my son was little and we could still physically restrain him, it was a matter of strapping him into the pushchair and heading home.
Never mind if the shopping did not get done. Never mind if he didn't get what/where he thought he was going to get.
A two-year-old needs to know who is in charge. Maybe they feel most secure when they are reassured over and over again that their parents are in charge.
In fact I've come to the conclusion that God gave us terrible two's tantrums to force parents to 'bond', to get us used to "being in charge".
It comes at a stage when the children are physically much less fragile than when they were infants, but before they are too large for us to manhandle.
I am not advocating violence. Far from it. But every child benefits from the firm REASSURING hold of a parent or carer.
The more he throws a tantrum, the more he is assured that the carer is always there. The same hands that pick up the child after a fall are the same hands that will also restrain a child to make sure he/she does not run into danger.
I think the 'terrible two's' is a period that young mobile children first test their ground, not only to see how far they could push the boundaries, but also how much they are loved.
At that age I guess they feel most loved when they are held. A bit of stern talking to is also not going to hurt.
Incident #2: Then further along I saw a young mother shoving chips into her son's face.
The boy, again, was probably no more than two years old and a small bit, strapped into his pushchair. Mum was feeding him burger and chips and she had the most earnest look on her face.
It was not an evil face. It was not a "I could not care less" or "I prefer to have fun" face. It was an anxious determined face. It looked more like she was finally able to get some food and she must first feed her child.
Let's face it: burger and chips are a cheaper alternative to a proper meal.
I only hope she does not feed burger and chips to this boy at every meal.
There was a time when I also survived on those cheap supermarket meals. When every penny counted I decided that it was far more economical to buy a ready-meal than to attempt to cook the same from scratch.
The cost of utilities did not justify my cooking a proper meal. Isn't that sad?
At one point I discovered potato waffles. They were cheap. They were much needed carbohydrates and fast to cook on the grill. I ate them ... a lot.
And I became quite ill.
Only then did I study the ingredients and decided that there were too many artificial this and artificial that to be good for any one. I stopped eating those and returned to more robust health.
Was this young mother poor like me and felt she did not have a choice? Or did she not realize that burger and chips do not a healthy child diet make?
Either way, there is little wonder why we are producing an obese, irreverant and quite hopeless generation.
As always, my question is: what can I, as an individual, do to help?