In the news yesterday there were two items that caught my attention and not in a good way. One was a local report of a man, in his 30’s, arrested for stalking a 9 year old child in Myspace. The other was the story of a 7 year old Russian adoptee that was sent back on a plane with a note saying that he had psychological problems and wasn’t wanted. In a day and age where committment means absolutely nothing, where doing what feels good is the norm, why am I shocked?
Whether you give birth to a child, or adopt a child, parenting is a LIFETIME commitment. Parenting means you sacrifice your own pursuits for the welfare and benefit of the child. You don’t leave them unsupervised to go shopping. You don’t leave them unsupervised to go bowling. You don’t leave them unsupervised to go dancing. You don’t leave them unsupervised to go on a weekend getaway with your latest love interest. Why would you leave them unsupervised online? What rock were you hiding under when the Dateline program did all those online pedophile reports?
Children are not automobiles. There are no Lemon Laws governing children. Once you give birth or adopt, that child is YOUR responsibility. You do NOT get to send it back if it’s defective. You’re bound by law to get help for the child if there are problems. You don’t get a return policy with it. Not even if that child draws pictures of burning houses and tells people he’s going to burn the house down with you in it. It’s an illness this child has that needs psychological and medical attention. When you have a child you are responsible for providing medical and psychological assistance. Boo hoo if that costs money that you can’t afford. You should have thought of that BEFORE you gave into that case of “I want” you had.
Children aren’t toys that you get to play with for an hour and put back on the shelf. They aren’t little adults that have the capacity to do the right thing simply because you expect it of them. They don’t have the judgement to keep themselves safe under any circumstance. They need boundaries beyond which they can’t cross without consequences. They need the tools that guidance from a loving parent gives them. They need to understand that rules are there for their safety and are not meant to be broken. They need to understand that you teach them these things because you love them. That’s what having a child and being a parent means.