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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Some mothers do have ‘em…



Ever so often, we have news of children who die falling off into drains; drown with their siblings at some beaches in Port Dickson; die of serious burns while playing with matches without any adults around them; die of heatstroke after being left alone in a locked vehicle under the hot sun while their mother was doing some household shopping etc etc.

Some months ago I watched a father lamenting the fact that his children had drowned at a beach while he was praying. Yea, right. He had the clarity of mind to leave his kids unattended at a beach and went praying.

It is obvious that some of us are not fit to be parents. These people forget that children are not mere by-products of sex, legal or otherwise. With kids come the responsibility. And if we are not prepared to take the responsibility of being parents seriously, or at all, we’d better not be one. It is as simple as that.

In England for example, a day after any incident resulting in a calamity to children, the authority would come a-knocking on the parents’ door. Without question they would take away the remaining children until they are sure that the parents are fit to raise their remaining children.

Over here, I remember there were calls sometime ago for a negligent parent whose child died to be punished. But of course people in authorities as well as a section of the public could be heard saying why must we compound the agony of the parents who had just lost their kid. Well, how about the kid? He died, for God’s sake.

I know the action of the welfare authorities in England may sound harsh, inhumane and unkind. However, incidents involving parental negligence in our country have seen a steady rise.

Our lackadaisical attitude towards our children’s safety can be seen every day. Yesterday alone I saw a lady walking a good 5 metres away from her 4 or 5 year old boy. The boy was of course walking in the middle of the street. The mother just walked as if nothing was happening.

Nowadays it is also of course quite trendy for some of us to drive in continental vehicles with sunroof. And scenes like the one in the picture above are quite prevalent too nowadays. If I remember correctly, last year I saw a TV3 news about a girl who was allowed by her father to do like the child in the picture in a car which was driven along a busy road in KL. Her head was stuck when the sunroof closed by itself and could not be re-opened! It made the news on TV3!

Traffic safety is our responsibility. It is not enough for all of us to just hope that the PDRM and JPJ to reduce accidents etc. We must realise that the responsibility first of all is ours to ensure traffic safety. The PDRM and JPJ are just law enforcers. If we could not be bothered with even our own safety, can we expect the PDRM and JPJ to reduce accidents?

Most importantly. children are God’s gift to us. They rely on us for almost everything until the time comes for them to look after themselves.

Do we want to fail them?


johnnie lim said...

HI Art,
I do agreed with you Parent should be responsible and should not leave their children even for a minute. I lived in a kampung area and sad to say the parents just let their children run wild on the road, so when I drive by I have to be extra careful lest these young ones just dash out. When I was I young parent I always carry my sons down even if I goes to the shop for just a short while. I have read of report where babies died in the car due to the heat.

Anonymous said...

There are even parents driving their car with children on drivers lap!
And there are children sleeping on the rear parcel shelf, or in front passenger seat standing or seated unbuckled.

The problem with these ignoramus is that, they think its is safe because most of the time nothing happens. Or, the egoistical mind of "its my blardy children, not yours!".

And, when something happen, they blame "fate!" or "Takdir!" or someone elses fault.

I bet no local police will stop these ignoramus. But, if this is done in western world, not only the police will come down hard on the offending parents, the citizen themselves would scold the parents kaw-kaw.

MRSM Kale Chepo 66/73

P/s what about parents or adults smoking in the vacinity of children, or at children's playground?

ArtForAuction said...

Ah, I still see those parents that open up their sun roof and let their kids look out. they live in my neighborhood.

also spotted are the neighbors who drive around the block with their one-year old kid standing on their motorcycle's front basket. yes standing.

their motto is probably "ah, it's ok, just drivin' round the house". Well, you could be in front of the house and still the child could get injured anyway, like the dad who reversed his car and killed his daughter (on todays' newspaper).

Artchan said...

I once told a driver with a baby on his lap.about safety for the child....and he challenged me to a fight. I just walked away

Anonymous said...

"Most importantly. children are God’s gift to us."

Yes, how true. Childen don't belong to us (parents). The bible says, children belong to God. We (parents) are only caretakers.

Anonymous said...

There was this story on TEDTalk;

A father & son went to a baseball game, just for some father-&-son QT.

Midway through the game, the son asked for a drink to quench the over-shouting throat.

The father obliged & went to the nearest drink counter & bought a can of soda.

To his off-mindedness, he forgot to check the label printed on the can. It's a soda drink that had alcohol ingredient that was not suitable for kid consumption.

On his returned, he passed the soda drink to his son. The son happily opened the can & start to drink the content.

The father's action was not gone without notice, just as a few seats behind, sat a childcare social worker. She dutifully informed a nearby police guild on duty, that the father was abusing the kid by giving him alcoholic drink.

The father was arrested & the kid rushed to the hospital for alcoholic intoxication check.

Father was detained for overnight at the police station, while the kid's medical check turned out a OK.

The next day, the social welfare personnel came & took the kid away from the father & the father was charged in court for child abuse.

All the court officials were sympathetic to the father's explanation. But the law stayed & the judge determined that the father should be kept away from the kid for a month while the kid is to be kept under the foster home during that period.

Moral of the story??

For the want of the kid's protection, all bending of the law goes.

A.D. said...

Seriously parents these days are sometimes too care-free & take small matters for granted. Only when there's death involve, only then they'll realise it.

Tiger said...

Almost killed a kid the other day.
Luckily was going 20km an hour when he rushed out of the house onto the road.
He flew over my bonnet but only superficial injuries.
Luckily for both him and I.

Anonymous said...

Well said Art.
Safety consciousness is an issue in the whole country. People drive with the rear sunshade on, without a care that it blocks the view of the car behind. Motorcyclist ride without helmets in many kampungs. Workers operate equipment without personal safety gears. The list goes on.
The govt should also educate the public on baby bassinets in vehicles. It's mandatory for some countries - you can't take your newborn baby home from the hospital unless you prove that you have one in the car. Parents should be made responsible for gross negligence.

srini said...

I feel kids are not like dogs or cats, which can tend to themselves by the force of nature. A human baby is not fit enough even to stand on its own feet till he is one year old which the animals can do in few hours of birth. even when humans grow up humans do all kinds of irresponsible acts! so they even need Councilors.
so what to speak of children. So its by nature a responsibility to tend them properly. the care with which they are looked after reflects in their behavior and also society at large.

Suraya said...

Dear Art,

It is a terrible tragedy when someone loses a loved one. When these incidents are reported, they are usually described as tragic accidents. It is not that often that you hear about a parent being charged with a crime for whether an accident is caused by neglect. Frankly,What is the point of charging parents with a crime after an accident?
he bigger discussion though should likely be on how to reduce these accidents due sloppy parental supervision or pure neglect.
Hence, The Uk concept of state intervention and possible removal by the state of children from their parents, who have a prima facie right to the custody of their children, is a do-gooder totalitarian proposal. Firstly, the state is the absolute last entity to trust when it comes to children. Bureaucracies are inherently inept, corrupt, ineffective and over-costly. The parents have the child’s best interest at heart. The state has a case number.
Physical and sexual child abuse grab all the headlines.
But what you may not realize is that neglect can be worse.The challenge is not simply recognizing that neglect is harmful but recognizing it at all.

Paul Wong said...

Hi Art,
Referring to your comment about the TV3 news on the kid stuck by sunroof. The kid was my daughter; it happen all of a sudden when my other boy play with the sunroof as I was driving out from school. The worst thing was the bloody TV3 crewman (a Malay man) just looked at me indifferently when I asked him to lend me a car jack to prevent the sunroof from moving. Actually a more calmed motorist just pull the sunroof opened. In the course of panic, i forgot to be rational in that approach. I made a complain to TV3 office about the behaviour of the TV3 man who was just interested in his news hoping something disastrous will happen. As expected TV3 legal dept stood in defense of their staff. I will never forget the bastard of the man who just walked away as I spoke to him. I hope this clears the matter.
By the way we have met before.

Anonymous said...

i don't quite understand how parents can afford cars but can't afford car seats or booster seats for the kids. kids are non-compliance but parents are worst.

ma$$ said...

parents nowdays leave the job of raising their kids to their maids. so when left alone with their kids, the parents are a bit clueless cuz they do not have the day to day experience of handling kids. Thats what i've observed.

pukimaq said...

Be like this homo who would rather sodomise than having children.

in paradise said...

Thank you, Art, for the delightful article. It reminds me that I should stuff some RM5 notes (for smokes, of course) into the pocket of a blind man who walks the roads around my area, typically right in the middle.

He moves to the side (slowly!) once he detects an oncoming vehicle, and so he makes a great speed bump on legs.

In Malaysia he might have been bumped off a long time ago. Thankfully here, no one would even dream of doing so to a harmless, lovable blind man.

My 2- and 5-year-old children are thoroughly grateful walking the shared roads.