Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Parental loyalty....


This morning I was watching the news and came across this story. In a nutshell, a man went to a local call center and shot his girlfriend to death at the front door. He was, of course, ultimately arrested. His parents were arrested as well for helping him to get out of the area. Their reason? "We love him".

It got me to thinking about the extent of parental loyalty, how far parents might go to protect their children. Even though I am not a parent, I can understand the impulse to protect our children, even when it might not be in their own best interest.

I've seen this first hand as well through a friend whose son has financially devastated her ~ and still she wants to believe he will come around and do the right thing even though his history makes it evident that he has no desire to change.

At what point do Mr and Mrs Rivera ~ or even my friend ~ have to say "enough is enough" and allow their children to take responsibility for their own actions?

Knowing I will never be confronted with the situation, I am fairly certain that I would not help my adult child escape from the area if he murdered someone. I would not be willing to help a daughter with a history of making bad choices to a point of financial devastation. She would know from a very young age that certain choices would make her life very unpleasant. She would know it because I would teach her. I would teach her that if she got pregnant as a teenager that she can toss all of her future dreams out the window because the next 18 years of her life would be devoted to raising a child on probably very little money and few resources. I would teach her that making decisions based on emotion is going to lead her down a less than satisfying road. I would teach my children that not learning to control their anger will lead to possible violence. I would teach them that they are responsible for the consequences of their choices and while I would support to the best of my ability their opportunities to make new and different choices, they would have to fix the fallout from bad ones.

These are very basic things.

So what of the Rivera parents? What say you? How far would you go to protect your children from consequences? Or would you?


Peace,


~Chani

17 comments:

Mayou said...

I like that the Internet thing not to be too anonymous, that is why I put my picture on my blog..
And a smile on a picture is different than the smile you can give to yourself in your mirror. More real.The true you.

As l'Abbé Pierre said ( a famous French priest who died yesterday at 95, and created the community of Emmaus for the homeless in 1954 when the winter had been horrendous) "A smile costs less than electricity and produces more light."

He said also: " We really own what we are able to give. Otherwise, we are not the possessor, we are the possessed."

Mayou said...

I am sorry; the time I wrote then sent a comment on your blog about pictures, you deleted it!!!!!!!So I guess my comment is out of season.....

Thailand Gal said...

Your comment was great, Mayou. Thank you for it. This other topic presented itself as I was watching the news and I wanted to discuss it so I switched. :)


Peace,


~chani

MsLittlePea said...

I'm not a parent but I hope that I wouldn't be like that. From my 'outsider' point of view, it seems like so many parents today are more concerned with being best friends with their kids. I can see how one may get that way if they weren't close to their own parents. In this case-would they put up with this kind of behavior from a friend? I doubt it. I sort of feel like I don't have a right to judge but at the same time I live in this world too. And I definitely do not want to share it with people who grow up knowing if they commit a horrible crime that his/her parents will be there to help them escape responsibility....this is an interesting topic. And definitely too complex to be a black or white issue.

De Aufiero said...

Maybe I'm a little off topic...
My parents told us to be responsible for ourselves (my mother even said her love was conditional), but in action, they have been pretty much a safety net. I'm pretty sure they would not help us break the law, but I have seen my mother get protective of her children to the point where she can only see one side of an issue, even if it's the wrong one.

My mother-in-law is different - she loves unconditionally, but she'll tell you as bluntly as can be if you're doing something she considers wrong or stupid.

Both families have adult children with "problems" in their lives, so neither way was perfect. In general, however, I'd say that from a young age, children need to be shown and experience the consequences of their choices and actions. I think we learn how to cope better that way.

Lucia said...

I would like to think I would teach children to be responsible, but here's what I imagine...

Ruben runs into the house crazily. He's frazzled. He's worried. He's scared. He knows he's in trouble.

The parental Riveras panic. Their first thought is, "He needs to get outta here! Fast!"

The Riveras call Uncle Jorge to get a car for Ruben to drive to Mexico. They don't want him to go to jail.

And, in a split second, in the madness of the moment, a decision is made. They haven't even considered the implications. They think they won't be liable. They didn't commit the crime. And they instinctively protected their son.

Could I see this happening to me or others--this decision made on the turn of a dime? Yes, I could. Would it have been the right decision? No, it wouldn't. Would it have unanticipated consequences, yes. Do I think that perhaps except for grace in the world, there go many of us? Yes.

Anvilcloud said...

I do agree with you. Aiding and abetting bad societal behaviour is no way to teach kids. But Lucia makes a good case because I tend not to think very clearly in panicky situations.

Cuppa said...

I might react to protect first and think later too. Maybe moms use their hearts before their heads where kids are concerned.

Susanne said...

I too want my son to learn that he is responsible for his own actions. I don't know if I really can teach him.

I have a feeling though that a lot of parents these days shield there children of the consequences of their acts. Tiny things like when they lose something it gets bought new, when the forget something for school a parent dashed after them. I think a lot of these children and teenagers live with the firm knowledge that their parents will always make everything right.

That's dangerous. We'll end up with grown-ups who won't act responsibly.

meno said...

Parents who try to protect their children from the consequences of their actions are doing them no favor.

Of course i am talking about adult children here.

But it's hard to say as i'm not in that situation. I can easily see Lucia's scenario too.

jen said...

it's hard to say - objectively, once they are of reasonable age and they've screwed up enough i imagine myself saying "you are on your own" but then, another part of me that i've only now discovered says well hell, how far would i really go, and i hope to all things holy i never have to find out. Honestly, I think Lucia said this part best as anyone ever could.

J's parents have gone to extraordinary measures to help his brother, a drug addicted bastard who has screwed everyone in the family (including us) over a hundred thousand times. we've said "enough". easy enough, really, but his parents both keep enabling him.

Laurie said...

My son is a gentle giant. I know in my heart that he would never hurt anyone unless his own life or the life of his loved ones was in danger. I also know that I would do anything in the world to help him, because I love him unconditionally and know that he would not kill unless it was kill or be killed.

I know this doesn't really relate to the case you are talking about, but I can only relate it to my life since I know nothing of theirs.

Ginnie said...

I agree with Meno, that you do your kids no favors when you don't allow them to make (and learn from) their own mistakes. For many years I was an "enabler" and I have learned to "detach with love", which has been much better for us all.

crazymumma said...

I would never stop loving my children. I could not even if they did the most heinous crimes in teh world. But I like to think that I would NOT assist tehm in doing stupid and damaging things to themselves and especially to others. But who knows how far a parent will go, I hope never to be put to such an extreme test.

QT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
QT said...

My mother has often told me "There is nothing in this world you could do that would make me stop loving you". However, I do know that if I were to commit a crime, my mom would turn me in in a heartbeat.

That being said, I think it is highly likely the scenario Lucia presented is what happened.

Gobody said...

This is a very difficult question, because parental love is not like anything else. When I look at my youngest, I feel that part of my heart is walking on the floor. I want to hug him as if I want him to get into my chest. There is no measure for the love I have for the kids. And I have never experienced anything like that before having them. So I cannot tell how far I am willing to protect them.