The year’s worst parents

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A few months ago we started gathering news stories, the idea being to compile a story poking fun at the year’s worst parents. There were some laughable moments, like the boy who didn’t really float away in a weather balloon.

But we soon realised that there were just too many horror stories:

One could gather another 50 similar stories, but to what end? What good does it do for us to read these horror stories?

Are these parents aberrations, just crazy folks who do what normal people wouldn’t?

Children in South Africa

To me the fundamental thing all these parents have in common is a lack of respect for the child as an individual who has rights. Instead they seem to see the child as an extension to themselves, a possession to be disposed of at the parent’s whim.

I’m glad to live in a country where child’s rights are entrenched in our constitution. This year we hit a milestone when it was decided to extend the child grant to children up to the age of 18.

But we do have a long way to go when it comes to protecting and supporting our children.

According to one horrific statistic, a child is raped every three minutes in this country.

Another report claimed that there are over 10 000 child prostitutes in Johannesburg alone.

So how do we cope with this?
  • By being responsible citizens in our own lives.
  • By treating our own children as human beings in their own right.
  • By reporting child abuse if we witness it.
  • By supporting organisations like Rapcan, Childline, and Child Welfare that step in to help children when the rest of society has failed them.
Why are children still mistreated so often? How can we cope with these ghastly headlines?

Read more by Adele Hamilton

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