Don’t threaten removing children from parents
The airline industry has been in hot water recently, but this latest episode took things to a whole new level. On an overbooked Delta flight, Brian Schear, a father of two young children, was told that he and his wife would be arrested and their young children put into the foster care over an airline seat. Seriously?
Threatening to remove a child from a family is not something to joke about. When we make light of removing a child, we diminish the real implications of removing a child. When a child is removed from a parent’s care it’s because they’ve experienced incredible emotional, physical, sexual abuse or severe neglect—not because of a disagreement over a seat.
At Utah Youth Village we work with children that 100% deserved to be removed from their parent’s care because of horrors they have experienced. Children deserve to be raised in loving and healthy environments. Ever year there are over 500,000 children in the foster system in the United States. 500,000 children! Just let that sink in for a moment. Removing a child from parent’s care is never easy and is only done after careful consideration when there is no other course of action. Even when removing the child is the best thing, their removal from their family has long term effects on the child. Sometimes these children are able to eventually return to their homes, but often that isn’t the case. They are shuttled from one foster care family to another at the whims of case workers, judges, and foster families. The lucky ones are adopted by a wonderful family, the unlucky ones turn 18 and have no where to go often ending up on the street or in prision.
No parent/person would EVER wish that on any child—or any parent.
Parenting is hard enough without being worried about being threatened to have our children removed for every honest mistake, because as parents we do make them. Daily, probably if we’er being honest. Parenting has no manual and we’re figuring it out as we go. And think of the emotional trauma on a child who hear that their parent is going to be removed from their life and wonder why this is happening.
Parents there is also a flip side to this. We should NEVER tell our kids that unless they behave they will be sent away. It’s downright cruel. The world is a scary enough for children without them having to worry that they’ll be sent away. Putting that kind of undo stress on a child can eventually damage your relationship as you child will question everything they tell you and wonder what is true and what isn’t.
There are children who need us to act as their advocate. If you suspect you see abuse please don’t stand idly by. Gather as much information as you can and report it to the proper authorities. RAINN.org has a helpful guide as to what to do to report child abuse.