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There could hardly be any question about the moral obligation on a parent to love and help their children. Beyond that, surely, they have an obligation to teach values to the child.
With such a simple premise, how can it be that we have wandered so far off that path?
Based on the statistics to hand, there seems to be a momentous breakdown in family life. The photo on the left is the famous "Danielle" -- more about her below.
The evidence of child abuse is gathered in grim statistics.
Each day in the United States, more than 3 children die as a result of child abuse in the home.
In 2000, an estimated 1,200 children died of abuse and neglect—an average of more than 3 children per day. (Victims known to child protective services agencies, which track abuse and neglect in the home.)
Most of the children who die are younger than six years of age.
Of these fatalities, 85 percent were under the age of six; 44 percent of the children were under the age of one.
More children (age four and younger) die from child abuse and neglect than any other single, leading cause of death for infants and young children.
This includes falls, choking on food, suffocation, drowning, residential fires, and motor vehicle accidents.(source)
Clearly there are criminal actions here. Before there were laws, there were customs -- those customs that the group agreed on became the "moral code" for that group. When the moral code was repeatedly violated, pieces of it might be changed to "laws," with punishment for those violations. Click here to read about a type of child abuse where the mother deliberately makes the child sick.
There are far too many outright murders, often by a parent on drugs, of a young baby that has become just too much of a bother.
MOUNT HOLLY - The 8-month-old boy whose body was incinerated in a Burlington City fireplace died slowly overnight from blows delivered by his father, a Burlington County prosecutor said today at a bail hearing for the mother.
Jessica Morgan, 20, and Kevin Abrahams, 25, are charged with first-degree murder in the death of their son, Sage Tyler Morgan-Abrahams.
Abrahams is accused of fatally beating the child in a rage between March 31 and the end of April. Morgan is charged as an accomplice for not seeking help for the baby.
"She has acknowledged that the lethal blows were delivered by her paramour," Raymond E. Milavsky, first assistant prosecutor, said in Superior Court today. "Sage became lethargic, started to vomit, and obviously needed medical attention." (source) (photo is Jessica on TV, testifying in Court)
The free books on the common sense moral code offered here? These two wild-partying murderers would never read it, but their friends might have. It may have been too late to turn Jessica around when she had arrived at 20 years of age, but one has to wonder about HER parents, and her school friends. The friends described her as a "nice girl," but nice girls don't murder their babies.
Somewhere in her past there were dozens of opportunities to put her feet on the path to morality -- some parent didn't do that, and Jessica's baby died a cruel and painfully slow death -- burning to death in the fireplace while her parents watched!
The transgressions of parent child abusers often show up in kids who become, themselves, violent, criminals, drug takers -- you name it.
Douglas Milteer in his second-grade class photo from Monsey School, standing in the second row, third from right (and inset). The writer, a frequent target of Douglas's bullying at the time, stands in the same row, second student from left.
Douglas Milteer was my childhood bully. Pudgy, pugnacious, usually scowling, Douglas terrorized a lot of kids in our neighborhood in Monsey, N.Y., often in league with his brothers. For a time, I was his favorite target, subject to impromptu beatings and continual teasing and the constant dread these inspired. All three Milteer boys were angry and violent, and I could never figure out why.
. . . .
"We had no control at home," says Scott, "so we had to have control everywhere else. We controlled the bus. We controlled the bus stop. We controlled the baseball diamond. At gym, we controlled the red ball."
. . . .
Some children roamed more freely than others. The Milteer boys were among the freest. They rode bicycles, then graduated to minibikes, then to motorcycles. Clinton and Scott were big and strong and athletic. They liked to fight.
. . . .
Scott and Clinton say they lived in fear of being hit by their mother. The slightest transgression, they say, would set her off -- particularly when she was taking diet pills -- resulting in a quick slap or a longer thrashing with a belt. The brothers and their father say Douglas absorbed a disproportionate share of punishment, though they don't know why. "She'd haul off and smack him in the face really hard," Larry Milteer says. "But he wouldn't cry."
Mrs. Milteer insists that she never hurt her children. As a child, she says, she wasspanked by her mother, usually with a strap or a hairbrush. She was beat up at school, too, she says, by students who thought she was Japanese. With her own children, she applied roughly the same level of discipline that her parents had. "I did hit my children," she says. "But I don't think I was overly abusive. Two strikes with Larry's belt or three strikes with my hand. Usually that was it."
The Milteers' marriage was full of shouting. Many in the neighborhood had heard of the time Larry Milteer bought a new Cadillac without telling his wife. The next day, while he was at work, Mrs. Milteer traded it for a racy green Karmann Ghia.
In 1975, after Douglas finished the fifth grade, Barbara and Larry Milteer decided to split up. They gave their boys a choice of staying with their mother in Monsey or moving to Valencia, Calif., with their father. They unanimously chose their father. (source)
. . .
I could go on, quoting this sordid story of child abuse by the parents -- abuse that caused a contagion of continuing violence down the line. A look shows that the violence went UP the line. When you read the full story, you will find that promiscuous sex and drugs came along with this family life. A more sordid story could not found. This one hit the front page of the Wall Street Journal in November 2002. Don't miss reading it all -- HERE. You'll see that when this family moved to California, and continued their bully activities in front of teachers? Nothing was done!
When you are a parent YOU have the chance to break the cycle of violence as it so often exists in our dysfunctional families.
The Free Books offered on this Web Site is your tool to help your children or students make correct decisions in life based on understanding. (Source)
People die from child abuse -- but many of those deaths are far into the future, dead from drugs, or sexual diseases.
Beyond the fatalities are the very large number of other types of harm caused to a child, believed to be the fault of a parent or caregiver.
Approximately 3 million reports of possible maltreatment are made to child protective service agencies each year. In calendar year 2000, these referrals concerned the welfare of approximately 5 million children. (source)
This web site is about morals, not laws. Every instance of child abuse where a law was violated was preceded by MANY instances of the child NOT receiving love and help from a parent. At this level, where laws do not apply, we have the failure of any moral code to prevent the harm. We have, for the most part, parents who are violating MANY of the rules in the common sense moral code offered to you from this web site.
The headlines are wickedly common:
Woman accused of abandoning baby to go to Disneyland in jail for robbing convenience stores
Click here or on the image to read this story.
What happens when you send your child to school. Can you trust the teachers not to abuse your child. What about the many volunteers that go to the school, to help out. Do you know who they are? There are certainly parents, themselves, who abuse their own children, but the next level would be children who are abused by those you should be able to trust. Catholic priests have been exposed for these abuses lately -- who else is there?
The above headline in the Wall Street Journal carries an article of considerable interest. What is the moral responsibility of a parent? To love and care for their children. Does that include that you, as a parent, want to know whether the volunteers at the school where your children attend -- that those volunteers are investigated to be sure they don't have criminal backgrounds? Click on the headline and read the article. Is it time to worry about a man teaching ballet to a little girl? How can you know? Here is an excerpt:
HALTOM CITY, Texas -- Diane DeSoto is a typical PTA mom: eager to help and plugged in to her children's lives. But when her daughter's kindergarten teacher asked if she would lend a hand with school activities, she had to make an embarrassing confession.
"I'd love to, but I can't," Ms. DeSoto said. "I wouldn't pass the background check."
Ms. DeSoto, 41 years old, was convicted of felony amphetamine possession in 1992, which disqualifies her from volunteering in her suburban school district near Fort Worth and in a growing number of other places around the country. Sept. 11, the Catholic priest-molestation scandal and a series of lurid child kidnappings are combining to stoke parents' anxiety as the new school year gears up. And that's prompting more and more districts to require parents to undergo criminal-background checks before being allowed to accompany their children on field trips or help out with holiday parties. (source)
An opinion poll in that Wall Street Journal of August 26, 2002, had the following question:
Click on this link to see the results of the poll, and some of the personal responses. Below is what I, Karl Loren, added to the personal response list.
In olden days a moral code was all we needed -- laws were unnecessary. Perhaps utopian? But, as a group of people saw that the moral code was not being followed, they put force behind the code, in effect making it a law.
Laws are evidence that a moral code was not followed.
We have laws against child abuse, also, of course, a strong moral code against child abuse.
The laws are NOT preventing child abuse -- official statistics suggest 3 fatalities per day, put down to child abuse.
When the laws don't work, and too many people are not connected to a common sense moral code, then groups of people will decide what to do about it.
The parents in some school community may not have the power to get laws enacted, but they may. They would do that generally only because of frustration that neither the existing laws, nor the common moral code is sufficient to protect their children from abuse.
When a society has become, in some part, barbaric, all will suffer from the sins of the few as the good guys seek ways to protect themselves.
I don't know if this previously drug-taking parent is safe with my children, but would rather err on the side of caution.
So, let's restrict anyone with any criminal record -- even bouncing checks. The check bouncer is, after all, violating a moral code as well as the law.
Finally, that person with the criminal record? He/she may well have served the time, but the "debt to society" is not handled by the legal niceties, but by the demands that society puts on that person.
A person is NOT welcome back into the group of "good people" without some acceptance by that group. The law cannot force any group to accept the person with the criminal record.
As the punishment, both in jail and in ostracization, gets more harsh, and even more importantly, more often shown to be applied, there may well be less of these moral and legal lapses.
That ex-criminal? Mrs. DeSoto is doing the right thing, but not enough. She flunks the honesty test for not telling her children of her background.
She has NOT DONE ENOUGH in the eyes of her community to make amends for the harm she did -- to her own children while she was in jail, but in the broader sense.
The pot of "morality" is boiling -- the lid is coming off, and the Enron scandals are not much different from denying a parent the right to help in school because of a "small" criminal record.
Let's live by a code we can all be proud of. Those who violate it? They can petition for rejoining the group, but they will have to convince every member of that group that they are worthy of rejoining the group.
It may take some time, but it can all work out to a better society, with fewer laws and more people following a common sense moral code.
In other words, a person who is violating the moral rule of "be worthy of trust" would be a likely candidate, also, for being a person who abuses his own children or those in his care. Click here to read about the infectious greed that is gripping our country -- most dramatically among the Chief Executive Officers who have been running some of our largest corporations. But, recognize that these large examples hide the fact that millions more, lower level, people are so wrapped up in dishonesty on their job, or elsewhere that they are no longer loving parents. These will often lavish gifts on a child, as a poor substitute for the love and care the child really needs.
How to rear children
Your primary responsibility to your children is to guard their happiness and return their love. They don't need your presents; they need your presence. Mark Twain explains: "We are always too busy for our children; we never give them the time or interest they deserve. We lavish gifts upon them; but the most precious gift -our personal association, which means so much to them - we give grudgingly." (source)
The other side of this is the "loving" parent who wildly justifies lavishing expensive gifts on a child.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Cassie Claxton was celebrating her last day at Liberty Middle School in Liberty, Mo., when she saw it - a gleaming, 10-passenger, black stretch limousine, just for her.
She squealed with her girlfriends, and then hugged her mother, who had paid $208 to rent the luxurious ride for two hours.
"She's always wanted to ride in a limo," said her mother, Dawn Claxton. "And by golly, she's getting her wish." (source)
It seems easier to see this error by OTHER parents than to see it in yourself. Cassie's mother, above, may well ALSO have been a loving and caring mother. Abusing a child by giving too much to that child is one of the hardest types of abuse to detect. Typically, in a large family, the parents may well have gone through periods of relative affluence and also relative poverty -- you can look at the kids that were most influenced during these different periods, by the same parents, and find, typically, that the kid whose moral codes were most molded during the relatively poor years often "do better in life."
You often find that someone who was very poor, as a child, and has now made it "rich" wants to give to his kids that which he, as a child, did not have. This often works out as damaging to that child's future. Grandparents are often guilty of trying to spoil a grandkid because when they were parents they couldn't do much for their kids. There are all sorts of possible scenarios here.
Most importantly, a parent must decide what moral values to teach when it comes to achieving success in life. Children "learn" what it is that it takes to make them successful in life. Those who "learn" that it is their own ability that makes them successful do much better in school than those who believe that "external factors" will determine their success -- these children do more poorly in school -- and in life. Such a simple moral issue that a parent ,ay, or may not, teach to his child.
Although there were differences in average math scores across the groups, the higher achievers in all ethnic groups had similar beliefs about the causes of success and failure. They believed that success was due to high ability and, perhaps more important, they did not believe that failure was due to lack of ability. In contrast, regardless of ethnicity, the lower achievers believed that success was due to external factors and that failure was due to lack of ability.
For example, when students were asked why a teacher might choose them to count the money for a class trip, higher achievers in all groups were more likely to answer that it would be because they were "good in math." Lower achievers were more likely to give answers like, "It was my turn."
In addition, the study showed that when compared with their public school peers, African-American and Latino students in Catholic schools had beliefs about success and failure that were more conducive to learning. They were more likely to attribute success to ability and less likely to attribute either success or failure to external factors, such as luck or a difficult test. (source)
Another study might well show that parents most often teach their children their own values -- that those children in the study above -- the ones who thought that effort was the key to success? It may well be that their parents believed that for themselves, and that those kids who believed that "external factors" were the largest factor in success? Probably THEIR parents had that moral value. So, you as a parent are very likely to pass on your own moral values to your children. That makes it all the more important that you take a look at your own moral values, perhaps compare them with the common sense moral code I am willing to send you -- see if your want to change what it is that you teach your child, or make sure that you DO instill in your child your moral values on this if they are the ones that most likely lead to success.
How often does a parent expect the television to entertain a child -- to take the place of a busy parent?
Most parents have probably taken advantage of the convenience of the electronic babysitter from time to time. It sure does make it easier to get dinner on the table. Unfortunately, television doesn't always match up very well with the criteria for a good babysitter. While there are some excellent programs for children, too many are more interested in our kids as consumers rather than as learners. Many programs aimed at children are nothing more than thirty-minute advertisements.
If that weren't bad enough, at any time of the day there are programs on that serve generous helpings of violence, sex, crude language, and plenty of antisocial behavior. If we let our kids turn the set on to keep occupied, the odds are they will be tuning into programs that model behavior that are the exact opposite of the type we'd like them to pick up.
Imagine if I came home one afternoon and found the babysitter I had hired talking with my kids in the family room using crude language, telling off colored jokes, and encouraging them to fight and put one another down. What would I do? Well, for sure that would be the last time I ever left my kids with him. Every one of us has a much more powerful and persuasive babysitter in our house every day-the television. We have to be as careful with the electronic sitter as we are with the human variety. (Source)
Click here to read a study on how television teaches sexual morals!
Did you realize that the US has signed (under Clinton), but waiting to be ratified, a United Nations treaty that gives "children" the right to watch TV of their choice? The UN is NOT a source of moral clarity or guidance for our society. Clinton is not a good source, either, for moral guidance to children!
"The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child's choice." (source)
Do you suppose that Danielle van Dam watched a lot of TV? Were her parents too busy "swinging" to read to their daughter when she was going to bed? Did she choose here own shows to watch? In fact, where were those parents at night? Did they bring their "play couples" to their own home, to meet Danielle?
The nation was gripped by the daily news about the disappearance of Danielle van Dam, and gradually it leaked out about the life style of their parents. It is not a pretty story. The judge in the trial of Mr. Westerfield ruled that the broad range of sexual promiscuity by Mrs. van Dam was not pertinent to the case.
Clearly a parent, Mr. or Mrs. van Dam, who is involved in promiscuous sexual activities, the recently famous "San Diego Swingers," could not possibly be providing a safe and loving home for their children.
This little girl, Danielle, on the left, was more a victim of her parents swinging immorality than anything else. Westerfield may well be the man who murdered her, but before that her parents had years of immorality grossly affecting Danielle's childhood.
Danielle van Dam was a victim of parental child abuse -- make no mistake about that.
One of the unreported types of child abuse is where the man leaves a woman pregnant -- to raise a child in a fatherless home. Just as bad is where the husband abandons the family and leaves a child in a fatherless home. This is common now that it is hardly even recognized as child abuse. Many divorces may be legal, but there is often child abuse in the wake. One parent homes are a sign of child abuse, often by TWO persons who didn't make it go right, or had a child before they had a relationship to love a child.
There are 11.9 million single parents in the US. (7)
28% (20 million) of all children in the US under 18 live with one parent.
84% of children who live with one parent live with their mother.(6)
The percentage of children who live with two parents has been declining among all racial and ethnic groups.(1)
32% of all births were to unmarried women in 1997.(2)
56% of single parent households had no other adult living in the house.(6)
The number of single mothers (9.8 million) has remained constant while the number of single fathers grew 25% in three years to 2.1 million in 1998. Men comprise one-sixth of the nation's single parents.(7)
Of children living with one
38% lived with a divorced parent;
35% with a never-married parent;
19% with a separated parent;
4% with a widowed parent;
4% with a parent whose spouse lived elsewhere because of business or some other reason.(8) (source)
Every divorce is a likelihood that some child will be left in a one-parent home -- that is child abuse. There is no other name for it.
But, with the statistics above, it is clear that neither morals or laws have prevented the most extreme form of child abuse.
You are not too likely to live near a place where some kid has died -- these deaths are also often covered up -- the police know about it, but the media don't cover them.
So-called "child abuse" statistics would never include the "small things" as when a parent prefers to buy a new TV and put off a needed doctor's visit for a boy or girl.
How many mothers refuse to breast feed their child for some reason?
It's a very, very important first step for the future health of your child, and is additionally incredibly beneficial for the mother. I feel that the health benefits to the mother are often overlooked when discussing breastfeeding. It drastically reduces the incidence of breast cancer (especially when used ecologically-nursing at least 2 years) and also reduces the risk of osteoporosis. (source)
Babies are so obviously helpless. What a marvel it is to realize that a newly-born child is entirely the responsibility of a parent -- or should be. As that child grows it very naturally moves through periods of less and less dependence on the parents. IF, and that is a large "if," the parent has done a good job, the child reaches adulthood with a set of values that will guide him well through the rest of his life.
If he fails to get those values at an early age, he often winds up in detention center, or a half-way house, or even prison, where, believe me, the moral values he then learns will NOT guide him well further into the future.
Here is the epitome of immorality -- when you brag about it! The Daniel van Dam murder case has brought to light a "San Diego Swingers" culture. One "leader" of this culture felt it was just unfair for all the media to spend any time on the sex parties of the van Dams. Here is what he said:
Lanzaratta, too, decries the spotlight directed toward the San Diego swinging scene by the van Dam case. “It’s too bad there was this sudden interest in the lifestyle because a crime was committed,” he says. “The lifestyle, from what I’ve seen and heard, has nothing to do with the crime. These are everyday couples, and the suspect in this case is not a couple, is he? He’s a single male. So where is this thing coming from? I’m sure the defense is going to use this [the van Dams’ connection to swinging] and say they are unfit parents and all that B.S., but that’s a bunch of crap. They’re just trying to latch onto anything at all. I can’t fault the attorneys, because that’s their job, but for everybody else to jump on the bandwagon is just crazy.” (source)
The van Dams were as guilty of child abuse as any person ever charged. The fact that so many in the media, and even the Judge in this case, felt that these sex parties were "irrelevant?" Well, that is a sorry statement on the times! We have a long way to go -- to even recognize child abuse when it happens this way.
Child abuse is a very hot topic in our society just now. It is obvious when a child is abducted, or left in a hot car while mother shops -- these are the routine headlines.
What is little recognized is the parent's responsibility to love and help his/her child get onto the path of morality. Children will learn "some morality" in their youth -- either from their parents, the school kids, the local gang, or whoever, but it is THIS battle for the souls of our little people that underlies the true problem of child abuse.
Mothers and fathers play a crucial role in shaping the moral values of their children.
Jack Kahl, founder and former CEO of Manco, known for its popular Duck brand of duct tape, says he learned his most crucial leadership lesson from his mother when he was seven years old.
His father had been stricken with tuberculosis, and his mother told her children they would have to work as a team to keep the family afloat financially and emotionally. Mr. Kahl began delivering newspapers, learning quickly that if he did his job well and pleased customers, they liked him.
His mother told him and his five siblings to open bank accounts but to leave in only enough money to keep them open. "She told me to use the money I had to buy a door for our family garage, and told my brothers and sisters to get other parts," he says. "Together, we all built our garage."
Years later, when he founded Manco, based in Avon, Ohio, Mr. Kahl adapted his mother's consensual style rather than what he had learned as a business major at John Carroll University, Cleveland. "They taught us command-and-control management, and it was all wrong," he says. "A great leader knows that people must be included in the company's decision-making process and that you have to share information with developing leaders rather than hoard it." (source)
Bob Rich Jr., president and CEO of Rich Products, a Buffalo maker of food products, says his crucible experience came right after he graduated from college, when his father gave him the chance to launch a subsidiary of the family-run company in Canada. "I was 22 years old and at the age when I was convinced that my father knew very little," he recalls ruefully. "But I soon found out otherwise. Here I was thrown into the breach with a million-dollar budget and responsibility for building a new plant, and I knew nothing."
He began seeking his father's advice, and soon discovered he was a wise business adviser. "We became very close through that process," he says.
The experience also taught him to be more tolerant and respectful of others and not to make glib assumptions. Placed so early in his career in a leadership role, he has always sought the counsel of employees throughout his company, he says. (source)
Child abuse every time someone (often the school) teaches a child something that violates a common sense moral code.
With parents often working, and not home enough to teach their kids any moral values, we find the schools taking over -- and God has been driven from the Schools, as have moral values.
It is a mess!
Raising children also involves tiny choices. My grandson plays soccer in a Soccer league that charges the family an annual fee, but also thinks it needs to raise extra money. They, like many schools and other groups, get the kids to go out and sell stuff.
In this situation the Palmdale Youth Soccer League REQUIRED that each kid sell at least one box of candy. My grandson, Sean, wanted to be one of the top salesmen, wanted to sell lots of candy, so, of course granddad gets the request to buy a box of candy!!
Is this a matter or morality? It may be for you, or may not be. I wrote the letter HERE.
I could go on and on and on! T he message here is simple. Children, our most vulnerable of society, are being abused not only in criminal ways, but even more importantly by parents who fail in their moral obligation to love and care for their children.
You who are reading this? You probably would NOT be reading this if you were one of those abusive parents. But, as you read this, you can think of some people who are abusive, or who don't love and care for their children.
It is sad, but often true, that a grandmother often sees her grandchildren being abused, or abandoned, by a son or daughter who has fallen onto immorality as his or her way of life.
The free book offered on this web can help you change the tide of immorality that is creeping over our land. Click here to write to Karl Loren, and ask for your two free copies of the common sense moral code.
Armed with that, take a look around and see the actual state of care of the children you know personally. The first step in fixing these problems is recognizing them. That requires something more than laws -- it requires a moral code that can be seen to be "right" for all religious and all racial and all cultural groups. Get yours now.
Woman accused of abandoning baby to go to Disneyland in jail for robbing convenience stores