Somebody rather erudite once said that where children are concerned the difference between being careful and careless is about a split second.
The best of parents can be momentarily forgetful or have their attention diverted for just that flash and the whole edifice can come tumbling down. The parents of the child at the Abu Dhabi mall who lost their 12-year-old for several hours before being reunited with him must have gone through mental agony and such self-recrimination even though the fault is minimal. As much as those parents who have their children in accidents because they just were not at the window or in the bathroom with the baby or lost the grasp of the hand on a busy road. One can feel for them even though it is very easy in the aftermath to make clucking sounds of shock and wonder how they could leave the sill loose or the door open or the water running. Count your blessings.
These are not the real culprits. The real ones are those who give their children expensive toys to play with like fast cars and dune buggies, who buy five-year olds bikes with gears and send them on the main road, who purchase skateboards but do not teach them road courtesy, who risk their lives because they believe they are invincible.
Parents who compensate for a lack of time by giving their children so much money that all they learn is arrogance and bad manners and no respect for money except what it can buy them. Parents born to power so that they teach their children they can get away with anything and can, therefore, do anything and the children learn that from petty nuisance to crime is but a gentle step. Parents so busy in their own rat race, so imbued by their social status that their children are being exposed to the seamier side of life, that drugs and other unpleasant influences are holding sway.
Yet, the shattered mother who didn’t switch off the gas cylinder, the poor father who drove his car in reverse, the parents who left that window sill open, they get so much blame that can hardly stand under the weight of it. Yet these parents who happily and with no sense of concern create little monsters and teach them everything wrong get away with it and not enough people say stop and be accountable.
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