Home > adoption, family, fetal alcohol syndrome, sex > How to be a Bad Parent

How to be a Bad Parent

I am not a good parent, but I can tell you about being a bad parent. I tried to adopt a 6 year-old boy named Jake (a pseudonym) and I fostered him for a month before I bailed on him. Here is how Jake’s mom and my husband and I failed him.

  • Jake’s mom did cocaine while she was pregnant with him. Luckily he seems to have escaped any harm from that.
  • Jake suffered tendon damage in his arm when he was born. It needed physical therapy to correct, which he never received.
  • This is a *huge* one. Jake never received adequate attachment with his mother when he was born (a close loving connection between parent and child) or for his first six years. I had started trying to do it, but it was probably too late. The theory is that this attachment is necessary to form normal attachments later in life.
  • Jake was never allowed to be a child. He was always struggling with his mother for the dominant adult role.
  • Jake was given unrestricted access to all cable TV and DVDs, including extensive pornography.
  • Jake’s mother used TV and DVDs as Jake’s baby-sitter.
  • Jake was unsupervised outside at all hours (e.g. after midnight) as young as four years old.
  • Jake witnessed sex and domestic violence.
  • While not a direct result of bad parenting, Jake had been sexually abused. Certainly the other neglect did nothing to protect him.
  • My husband and I built up Jake’s trust, fully intending to adopt him, but we bailed on him when we found out he couldn’t be left alone with other children because he would sexually assault them. All we could think of was our own legal liability. Do you think Jake could trust another caregiver after that?

We created a sexual predator (at 6!!!!!) without the ability to form emotional bonds. We actually had three sexual assaults while he was with us (two at school). What do you think Jake’s life-expectancy will be? How many victims will he have? Of course I pray to god I am wrong. Maybe Jake’s next caregivers will be amazing.

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  1. April 8, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Such extreme upbringing requires extreme measures to improve. If only amnesia can be induced.

  2. April 8, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    If only it could.

  3. April 8, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    BTW, it was a mistake to imply that having your child sexually abused means you’re a bad parent. It was all the other neglect. Certainly the other neglect didn’t help protect him.

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