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View Diary: "I Won't Mess Up Anymore!", a desperate child pleads (Updated) (151 comments)

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  •  I just don't buy that (14+ / 0-)

    This society does not drive people to starve and beat their children. Keep in mind, there are parents who do this to children who are not mentally challenged. I firmly believe there are just people who are bad people. They deal with their own stress by taking it out on others who are too vulnerable to fight back, making this a crime of opportunism more than anything.

    I have also noticed when reading stories like this, a stepparent is frequently in the picture. I have not researched it, but I think that interplay between stepparent and stepchild can sometimes result in a more disproportionate response to the behavior. My father was mildly abusive before my stepmother lived with us, after which it began to increase and she contributed. A misbehavior any child might have done was misinterpreted as a personal slight against her.

    Speaking with my father years after their divorce, when I was an adult, he apologized to me and said he felt so guilty for everything. It wasn't that she always told him to punish me (though sometimes she did) for imagined or slight infractions, but rather that he felt like if he did not show her how much he valued her by punishing me for what she considered disrespect, that she would leave him or be angry at him. And then anger would take over -- why did I keep doing these things, etc.

    I firmly believe some stepparents are simply more forgiving toward their own children and sometimes resent or are jealous of a spouse's other children. Perhaps this is instinctual -- it makes sense from a survival of the species perspective. And the parent of that prior offspring is more susceptible to neglecting it because that ingratiates him to the new partner, offering more opportunities to reproduce.

    Whatever it is, I really do not think it boils down to society being bad. I think it boils down to these people being bad.

    We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

    by CatM on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:25:54 AM PST

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    •  Except in the cases where they're not. (1+ / 0-)
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      My other half has raised my son like he's his own since Draco was 2 years old. His biological father was the abusive one. His biological father is the one who couldn't deal with the disability and we had to leave. His step father treats him the same as our daughter, with added concessions towards his disability.

      So while perhaps some step parents react like that, by no means all do. And it's quite possible they would have acted like that anyway, even with a child of their own who was disabled or 'not their favorite'. Favoritism happens in full biological families as well, trust me.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 12:47:36 PM PST

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      •  Well, I was pretty careful (0+ / 0-)

        to say "some" stepparents" and can "sometimes result."

        I realize not all stepparents are like that. Neither are foster parents.

        But of similar cases I have read with this kind of abuse, there often is a non-biological "parent" (stepparent, boyfriend, girlfriend) in the picture. What is interesting is that in this case and in mine, the primary abuser is the child's biological parent and not the stepparent.

        We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

        by CatM on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 04:18:09 PM PST

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    •  I agree with you that the family deserves (0+ / 0-)

      zero slack.

      But there are societal forces that play a part in this.

      Perhaps parents are predisposed to abuse and are finally pushed over the edge by frustration and lack of any support whatsoever.  

      I don't know the answer, but I do believe that the parents are fully responsible for their actions.  

      Still, I wonder if there is something we can do as a society - support systems, treatment, housing, etc - which could make this a less frequent occurrence?

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:34:22 PM PST

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      •  I think the first thing we should do as a society (1+ / 0-)
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        is to stop ignoring possible abuse. Whenever there is a story like this, people come out of the wordwork saying "I thought about reporting it, but..." or "Yeah, I saw the kid eating out of garbage cans. He/she looked really skinny."

        But no one does anything. Or, conversely, we hear "I called several times..." but the police or social services did not do anything.

        I strongly feel that as a society we need to be far less afraid of getting involved and more willing to listen to people and kids reporting abusive behavior.

        We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

        by CatM on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 04:21:51 PM PST

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      •  I apologize for misreading things (1+ / 0-)
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        Obviously my suggestion would not make this a "less frequent occurrence."

        I don't have an answer for that. Maybe financial incentives could be offered (like discounts on maternal care/delivery) for parents who complete parenting classes.

        Maybe if schools have special needs children, they should implement a program for making sure those kids get some sort of counseling at least once a month so they have someone they feel they can talk to if they are having a serious problem at home.

        We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

        by CatM on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 04:24:02 PM PST

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