Hard­ly a day goes by when I don’t put two and two togeth­er and come up with – it’s the par­ents, stupid!

Ear­li­er this year it was report­ed in the press that a 12-year-old boy was left in charge of a 17-month-old and anoth­er child, aged about 10. News­pa­per reports have yet to state whether an adult was present in the house. 

The 12-year-old has con­fessed to beat­ing the 17-month-old to death because she was cry­ing while he was watch­ing TV!

Sev­er­al years ago a young boy wres­tled to death an unre­lat­ed 6‑year-old girl who was being cared for in his home. The boy’s moth­er was asleep in the house, she was a coun­ty sher­iff and has nev­er been held cul­pa­ble in this case. I assume that she was the per­son who agreed that the child would be in her home?

In both these cas­es the adults who made the deci­sion to leave a 12-year-old in charge of younger chil­dren used poor judge­ment and they should be pay­ing the price, not the young per­son who actu­al­ly did the deed.

Teenagers in my town beat a home­less man to death –‘for the fun of it’?

I know of a 15-year-old who broke into his uncle’s emp­ty home and, while both sets of par­ents were away togeth­er, the boy had a par­ty with 30 or 40 friends. He has con­fessed and there is clear evi­dence that he’d made a plan some days before hand. His par­ents, his gov­ern­ment employed lawyer father and pri­vate school admin­is­tra­tor moth­er, did not return imme­di­ate­ly from their hol­i­day to take care of this sit­u­a­tion and his younger sis­ter. Nor did his broth­er and wife who were with them and are the par­ents of the two young cousins, both under age 7, in whose emp­ty house the par­ty took place!!

When the boy’s pater­nal grand­moth­er deemed it too much for her to han­dle (she — a lawyer no less!! — was left in charge of all four of her grand­chil­dren: the 15 year old per­pe­tra­tor, his younger sis­ter and two girls cousins under age 7) all four chil­dren were dis­patched to the boy’s mater­nal aunt who lived an hour away!

Why is it that we expect the poor of this coun­try to act respon­si­bly towards their chil­dren when even the edu­cat­ed, and I assume oth­er­wise respect­ed (and sup­pos­ed­ly respon­si­ble?) mem­bers of the com­mu­ni­ty, amongst us can’t do it?

Par­ents have to step up to the plate. 

Your chil­dren, or those in your care, should come before your nap­time or your holiday!