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How Could A Parent Not Take Care Of Their Child?

Updated on December 14, 2010

In my profession as a firefigher / paramedic, I see many different bad family situations. I have been in households that were filthy, roaches crawling over my boots, and in some that were barely standing. I am a firm believer that it is not the house that makes the home, but you can get a general idea how people live their life by how they take care of their house.

On my way home from work this evening, coming out of a store, I was parked next to a young mother and her 2 children. The mother was leaving the children, both of which looked to be under 6, in the car alone while she went inside. Her oldest child was crying to go in with her, but the mother said, "NO! You don't even have a shirt or shoes on!" The sad part was not that the mother had said no, but that in 30 degree weather she decided to take her child out without a shirt or shoes and then leave them in the car while she went inside. Granted, I know there are families that cannot afford simple things I take granted, but they were sitting in a 2 year old $25,000 car.

As I sat in my truck, waiting for the mother to come back out to her children before I left, I thought about my own children and couldn't imagine any situation that would cause me to treat them that way. A simple point of view would be that the mother did not love her children, which, although possible, is not probable. I think the underlying problem is that our society has become focussed on ME. We have become so consumed by what I can gain, what I can accomplish, or what I have that we have devalued all others as far as how we see them.

What do you think causes these issues and why does it seem to be getting worse every year?  Worse yet, how do we change our society and refocus on the things that are truly important?

  •  5 Children die every day from abuse
  • Most Child deaths from mistreatment are not listed as such
  • Over a third of all women in prison were abused as a child
  • About two thirds of those in drug rehab were abused as a child

What do you feel is the largest cause of child neglect or abuse?

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    • rwelton profile image

      rwelton 6 years ago from Sacramento CA

      Good hub - It is indeed a sad comment on society when innocent children re mistreated.


    • breathe2travel profile image

      breathe2travel 6 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      I have a hard time even thinking about child abuse. I know it's real. What can we do as individuals to stop/prevent it? Could you include some links giving advice on signs of abuse/neglect, prevention?

      Voted up. People need to be aware and active. I know offering help to stressed parents, volunteering at school & after school programs are ways to REALLY help. Do you know of others? My heart is saddened by some of my children's classmates conditions. Sometimes I just want to take them home with me!

      Again, voted up.

    • jdavis88 profile image

      jdavis88 6 years ago from Twitter @jdavis88hub

      Thanks for the comments! I'll try to add some links today.

    • Mandeeadair profile image

      Mandeeadair 6 years ago from California

      This kind of stuff rips me apart! I try to always put myself in other people's shoes but when it comes to stuff like this I just cannot related. Thanks for the Hub...great information and people do need to know about this sort of thing.

    • canucknsg@yahoo.c profile image

      canucknsg@yahoo.c 6 years ago from Michigan

      I am a nurse in Ed and see all degrees of what I feel to be child abuse and neglect...from the simplest things like how a child is spoken to or disciplined to outright death and I am sure you know what I am talking about as you are right there in the trenches! Perhaps society as a whole has begun to fail our kids and as I watch the news daily and pray fot the three boys from Michigan who are missing and possibly dead I hope we can somehow find a way to come to our senses!!

    • katyzzz profile image

      katyzzz 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Yes, I agree with the others, we are failing our children and the authorities are REALLY failing in doing their jobs.

      Too much concerned with their public profile and not enough commitment to address these wrongs to protect the truly innocent, our most treasured things, our childen.

    • suizyQ profile image

      suizyQ 6 years ago

      I think your right, too many people are concerned with themselves. The hardest job is being a parent, but its a choice. Once that choice is made we loose ourselves to the love and responsibility of being a parent.

    • jdavis88 profile image

      jdavis88 6 years ago from Twitter @jdavis88hub

      Thank you all for the comments!

    • kimfal profile image

      kimfal 6 years ago from Brooklyn

      I agree with all the comments posted! To many children are suffering under the "me, me, me" mentality that has become prevalent in todays society!

    • jdavis88 profile image

      jdavis88 6 years ago from Twitter @jdavis88hub

      Too true.

    • patdmania profile image

      patdmania 6 years ago from waterford, mi

      I am a firefighter/paramedic also, i know what your talking about. I changed from a ambulance company to a fire dept. that is a wealthier neighborhood now, so i don't see it as much. It is pretty sad when you see a neglected child.

    • thoughtfulgirl2 profile image

      thoughtfulgirl2 5 years ago from East Coast

      Thoughtful hub; glad you waited for the mom to come back. I have done similar things. You hit the nail on the head when you said that "our society has become focused on ME". We have become a very self centered society. Too many toys (the newest electronic gadgets, etc) and not enough time spent in meaningful activities.. We have become a valueless and vacuous society. Well, not all of us, especially us hubbers:)

    • kerlynb profile image

      kerlynb 4 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      "I think the underlying problem is that our society has become focussed on ME." - Right. Reminds me of this one Asian country that has an intense excellence-oriented culture. Thousands of people there literally live a hermit life inside their homes or commit suicide out of pressure from work and studies. They all want to succeed and consider kids and families as hindrance to success. And just like the callous mom you mentioned in this hub, many mothers in this country somehow consider child-rearing a huge burden, leading them to murder innocent babies and toddlers. It's quite upsetting to see neglected kids. I suppose the best we can do as citizens is to volunteer our help or donate resources to organizations helping abused kids. We should also, of course, alert authorities about possible child abuse in our neighborhood. You wrote a meaningful hub. Voting it up!

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