The Death of Children

We are witnessing increased reports of injury and death of children in the care of custodians.

We read about toddlers being abused by day care workers, domestic partners or parents who kill them for the offense of crying or eating a cookie.

The numbers are not large, but each death strikes the hearts of well-meaning people.

The tallies don’t include the children whose bruises are hidden under their clothes or who are subject to emotional abuse.

What is the cause? What can be done to reduce it?

The demonization of the role of parents may be one reason.

Men are chastised for the very thing that makes them successful men, i.e., aggression, competitiveness, protectiveness. It’s called “toxic masculinity.” 

It’s taught in gender studies.

Women have been “liberated” into a mindset where even if the family has the financial ability to sustain itself on one income, paid employment is championed and child-raising is devalued.

“Women’s lib” has caused women to lose more than they have gained.

Phyllis Schlafly was prophetic.

Gone is the “tender years” doctrine that presumed that primary custody of very young children should be given to the mother.

Gone, too is “primary custody.”  It’s called “shared parental responsibility.”

Alimony? Hah.

Child support? If a woman stays home with her infant or toddler, earnings can attributed to her whether she is employed or not.

Women paying men child support is not uncommon even if she has the child the majority of the time.

Here is the truth.

Raising children, as hard as it is, is a joy.

No job in the world can compensate for seeing your young child reach up and try to catch the wind with his outstretched fingers.

That’s on a micro level.

On a macro-level, failure to raise a child in a loving, supportive home where values and roles are clearly defined give rise to a child with many masters, including some who diminish the role of parents.

Think not?

Check out television programming directed towards children.  Nearly every parental figure is a clueless dolt and every child is a bold, confrontational know-it-all.

When these untethered children grow up they are at greater risk for low self-esteem, attention seeking (“Likes”) behavior, drugs and death.

If they become parents themselves, odds are they will mimic the contorted upbringing they experienced.

It’s time to grab back the narrative.

About the Author
Elaine Rosenberg Miller writes fiction and non-fiction. Her work has appeared in numerous print publications and online sites, domestically and abroad, including JUDISCHE RUNDSCHAU, THE BANGALORE REVIEW, THE FORWARD, THE HUFFINGTON POST and THE JEWISH PRESS. Her book. FISHING IN THE INTERCOASTAL AND OTHER SHORT STORIES will be published by Adelaide Books in 2019.
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