Negligence and abuse; subtle or not so subtle? | Mark’s Remarks


en we think of abuse, we immediately think of the physical; things we can see.  

We hear about and experience stories of abuse. It’s all around us. In this day and age, many have lost the ability to resolve conflict or solve problems. Therefore, there is frustration, anger and violence.  

I suppose it’s been around forever, but I contend we don’t deal with things the way they used to be dealt with. We have certainly lost the ability to disagree with one another.

I’ve taught now for over 30 years and I’ve seen my fair share of things. I have also heard a lot of things.  As a mandated reporter, a teacher must report things he or she hears at times.  

It’s a part of the profession I hate.

Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of nasty things about parents and I’m convinced there are different levels of child abuse.   

Many involve children and sports. More than once, I’ve had students confide in me that they did not want to play sports. One child once told me he had “begged” his parents to stop playing a sport.  

They refused. He ended up playing for the rest of his school career and the last I checked in, he was struggling with some issues. I was sorry to see that.

If confronted with this news, a parent would argue that if they didn’t “make” a child play sports, he or she would be too idle. There are a lot of factors involved, but I am pretty sure it could all be figured out.

You should not be forcing your child to play a sport. I think it is borderline abuse.

Then there are parents who are so obsessed with their child being a sports star that they neglect what is really important. They get up early or stay out late taking children to lessons to make them better. They browbeat kids for making mistakes on the court or field.  

These same parents get upset at teachers for “giving grades.” Let me tell you, that sort of mentality has been the ruination of education and will continue to deteriorate.

Parents throw fits, so teachers try to make things easier and easier until education is so dumbed down.  As I said before, a “C” in some school districts is like a failing grade. Parents have demanded that things be easy. Teachers have complied and have given out easy grades.

Then, when a kid actually gets an educator who holds him or her accountable, there’s hell to pay.  

We are going to be in a heap of trouble one of these days if we don’t wise up.

You can insert other things in place of sports. We have kids at school whose parents pride themselves on showing everyone how “stylish” their children are. Indeed, kids come to school with designer clothes, shoes and accessories.  But they are obviously not being nurtured. They aren’t having conversations with their parents. 

Parents are too busy keeping up appearances and not getting to the root of anything. Everything has to be easy. Nothing can be too uncomfortable or difficult.

Some people are obsessed with little babies.  They want babies around all the time. They continue to have babies for this reason, or they try to find friends and families who have babies with them. Many of these types of people get a charge out of buying baby clothes and reveling in all the cutesy stuff.

Don’t get me wrong. I relate. I love babies. I love when kids are little.

But you have to keep going. There are countless people who almost don’t want anything to do with kids once they grow up a little and grow out of the cute stage. 

Parents can’t relate. Parents find raising children after the baby stage too tough. They want to be lazy parents. They don’t want any challenges.

Misguided priorities.  Borderline abuse. Baby obsession? Also borderline abuse in my book.

I think the attitude parents have that is the closest to abuse and neglect is the fact parents are afraid of their kids. Again, parents want to be lazy and they don’t want to put enough into parenting. They don’t want to hear their children squawk or cry, so they give in. The child becomes the boss. Parents are in fear that their children will throw a fit.  

These same kids are absolute angels at school!  Why? Because they have limits at school. They have rules. They have adults who are in charge and who set boundaries.

Kids who are in charge, have no adult setting limits, and who get to do whatever they want are stressed out. Kids are not equipped to run the show and be in charge. This produces stress, which produces anxiety and depression. 

Kids are afraid of society because, “Oh my gosh, what if everyone out in the world doesn’t do exactly what I dictate? You know, like my mom and dad.”  

You end up having all of these kids in need of meds or counseling or both. They have trouble with relationships and at the workplace.  They get into dysfunctional marriages. They become crappy parents.

Parents, set limits. Give kids clear guidelines and boundaries. Your lack of parenting and your asinine fear of your children is borderline abuse and neglect.

I don’t know, I’d venture to say it’s full-blown abuse.

I could go on with more specifics. There is so much to say about the way families have broken down and the way we are completely screwed up in the way we are raising our kids.

Yes, I’m afraid I’m being judgmental again.

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