Sand in the Gears

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Perhaps draw a random name from the phone book?

January 25th, 2010 Posted in Curmudgeonry, The Art of Parenting

I recently saw a news clip about a mother who ordered her son to kill his pet as punishment for bad grades (the son’s, not the gerbil’s). An investigator says the woman was raised by a good family. Maybe so. When it comes time to decide, however, where to place her three children (for she is surely going to the pokey, between this and the allegation of battery against the child, on top of her probation for a previous embezzlement conviction), I hope someone pauses.

There’s a bias, in cases where children are removed from their parents, for placing them in the hands of the parent’s relatives. I’ve never understood this. I know rotten people sometimes come from good homes. It seems to me, however, that if you’ve already raised one beast, you ought not be given any more opportunities to raise additional beasts. Even if you are good people. Some people can be good, I suppose, and still be lousy parents, in much the same way someone can be good and still have no business whatsoever operating heavy machinery.