Parents, stop blaming and shaming

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I have been deeply affected by the recent news of a two-year-old boy who was grabbed by an alligator at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. The hubby told me not to read such news, but I couldn’t help it.

Amy is also turning two soon. It is my dream to bring her to Disney World. If we had gone, we might have been staying in such a resort. We might have been playing near the waters too. As tourists, we would have been clueless about alligators. In fact, the hubby and I were at Disney World, Florida a few years ago, and trust me, alligators were never in my mind.

It could have been us.

I simply cannot imagine what the parents must have gone through and are still going through, to have witnessed such a horrific event, to have lost their child. When it was supposed to be their happiest vacation at the happiest place in the world. Their lives are now living hell.

As if not bad enough, comments are once again pouring in. And a large chunk of them are not of grief and support mind you. They are of blame and shame. From perfect parents. Who “would never be negligent with their kids.”  Who “would never let something like this happen to their kids.” Who suddenly are experts about Florida and alligators.

I don’t understand, how can these people have the heart to lay more hurt on the parents who have lost their world?

Do they know how it feels like to lose a child? Have they ever had to carry the body of their lifeless child? Have they ever had to make funeral arrangements for their child? Put their child in the casket? Bury their child? And then live the rest of the days in guilt and regret, wishing that they could have done something differently to ensure their child lived?

No of course they haven’t. Because they could do no wrong. But that’s where they are wrong.

Look at me in the eye and tell me that your kid has never fallen under your watch. That your kid has never injured himself or herself.

Maybe you would say that the fall was harmless, the injury light. That’s because you were lucky.

Oh, and if you tell me that your kid only injured himself when he was under another person’s watch, then hear the echo of the blamers and shamers: “Where were his parents at that time?” 

The fact of the matter is that sometimes, despite the parents’ best intentions and actions, tragedies happen. Like in this alligator case. So many kids played at the same area before the boy. For over 4 decades. No attack has ever happened. Until this time. The parents wrestled the alligator, but could not free the boy.

And other times, parents make mistakes. We all make mistakes. We are not robots. In fact, even robots fail.

It could have been you. It could have been me.

Just because it didn’t happen to you doesn’t mean that you are a perfect parent. It simply means that you have been fortunate. Give thanks.

p.s.: As for those who are not even parents yet and who are giving loads of comments, I don’t even want to address you. Wait till you have your own children. Then we’ll see.

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