Originally Posted by momtosimon
But see, thats the nature of an accident. Its, if you had done something different... it wouldn't have happened. I agree that they do happen and will continue to happen.... but just by definition, an accident is something you didn't plan on happening, because you didn't check all the variables or maybe, you DO understand the variables, you just don't think the extreme 1 to 5% of something bad happening will include you (like leaving your baby in the tub for just a second) I am not pretending that accidents like this will disappear, but each and every one was "unavoidable" if something had been done differently. Otherwise, it wouldn't be called an accident.
And I am also not saying that we should "judge" people whose accidents result in the death of their child. But we certainly can't pat them on the back and say, "oh, its ok, it was just an accident, you'll try harder next time."
Well not to get too picky with you but there are lots of definitions of accident that don't involve foreseeable circumstances.
You seem to think that all the variables can be controlled and again, that's where we disagree. No parent or society can be one hundred percent vigilant all the time - it's not realistic. It also might create a pretty awful society for our kids and families, in the case of something like letting kids explore on their own, etc.
Again I do not think it is normal to leave one's child in the car - but I don't think it's in the realm of say, locking a child in his or her room for three days as punishment - true abuse and neglect. I'm sure there are occasional people who do deliberately do something like that, but I think the vast majority of individuals who make that mistake are simply overscheduled, tired, stressed out people.
I honestly don't see how having compassion for a parent who made a mistake that resulted in the loss of their child would ever be perceived as receiving a "pat on the back."
I think the best response is "How did that happen?" (from the police, not from the community) followed by "how can we help you in your time of loss?"
And again I'm just saddened by this thread, because I really think that in this generation we have lost, again, compassion
for the terrifying and humanly flawed act of parenting.
I am probably romanticizing a bit but it seems to me that when I was growing up when children died - which was already much less common than in my grandmother's generation - the first
response of people was to feel sad for the family and to hug their own children, not to demand that people pay for what they did or go to jail as an example to others. The loss of the child
and the devastating wreckage in that family's life was the example.
I do think this relates to our culture of fear and blame. As long as we can say it's only "those people" over there that make mistakes, we don't have to live with the fear that we could lose our own children. But the fact is that we all make those mistakes every day - a chokable sized knob comes loose; an electrical appliance's cord gets exposed when someone knocks into the end table; we cut someone off on the road because our baby started screaming.
And I guess I just feel that there are compassionate and caring ways to address mistakes that people make without having to treat them like the real criminals, the people who deliberately go out of their way to harm people, or like corporations, who need to be monitored to be sure that they are not making profits at the expense of safety.
A parent who makes a mistake, to me, is just not in the same category.