Bad Things Can Happen To Good Parents

A two year old boy is killed by an alligator. 

Just stop for a second. And read that again. A two year old boy. A small toddler. Killed. Dead. By an alligator. Pretty harrowing right? Yes. I am right. It’s rather incomprehensible to you or I as I live in the middle of Shropshire in England where the scariest thing you’ll see in water is a shopping trolley or a rather big eel. Nevertheless, we all know how scary alligators are and the thought of being face to face with one is horrific. But your child, your tiny little child being snatched and killed by one? Beggars belief. 

So why the hell can’t we empathise?

Instantaniously, as soon as something like this happens and comes out in the press, just like with the child at the zoo in the gorilla enclosure, why do we feel the need to start looking for blame? 

Checking the time – bad parents for being out at 9pm.

Paddling in shallow water – who would let their kid do that?

Not watching them in a foot of water – lazy useless parents. 

Seeking out the “facts” so we can shake our heads a little harder and our parenting halos shine a little brighter. It’s easy to be an expert and a perfect parent from afar. Sat in our glasshouses, casting instant judgement and pouring scorn on a family who will relive those harrowing moments for the rest of their lives. Who will leave what is known as the happiest place on earth, one less and a broken and shattered family. One less bag to pack. One less seat on the plane. But hey, it’s their fault right?

As parents, every day you have to make a call. Do you let your child run five steps ahead of you on an empty park? Do you let them climb the slide by themselves? Do you let them walk across the road without carrying them? All small things. But could have massive consequences. 

We all have to make decisions daily; some good and some bad. But our bad ones hopefully never have grave consequences. Not only that but imagine making a crap decision then having the whole world have an opinion on it. To tear strips off you when you’re living in a nightmare. L

Social media is filled with outraged people calling the parents all the names under the sun. Outraged that a human comes before an animal. Petitioning for the parents to be held accountable… Why do we feel the need to kick them when they’re down? It’s not about what they should have done. It’s too late for that. It’s about not being an asshole and making your opinion about who is to blame. 

Empathy and sympathy. Not hate. The world already has too much of this. Especially this past week.  We as parents, and as people, should accept we all make mistakes. Some we are aware of and others we had no idea were mistakes. But why for once, not instantly question and tear strips off the parents. They are human too. And have lost a precious child. 

Always remember: Bad things can happen to good parents. Think before you criticise. 

B xx

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8 Comments

  1. June 17, 2016 / 9:15 am

    I just felt so sad for those parents – well it went beyond that – I was heartbroken. All kinds of crazy things can happen in a split second and we can’t all be there in the moment 100% of the time.
    It’s such a scary world right now – and it’s so upsetting to see that the reaction to tragedies like this is anger and hate and judgement instead of sympathy and empathy.
    We need less hate in this world – I wholeheartedly agree with you.
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  2. June 17, 2016 / 10:59 am

    Obviously I have empathy for the parents, this shouldn’t happen to anyone. But I do not understand how a child was left to wander close enough to the water to be taken by an alligator. If it was me as a kid my parents would have been holding my hand the whole time. And I know the sign didn’t warn of alligators but it did say no swimming and deep water so there’s no chance I would have been anywhere near that. My heart does go out to the parents though x
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  3. Sarah Ella (Mumx3x)
    June 17, 2016 / 2:24 pm

    Honestly, alligator snatching a child isn’t something anyone could possibly expect to happen. Although, there were apparently warning signs around the area. It’s the same with the gorilla enclosure and a child falling in. The parents are suffering enough without all the hate, they have to go through there lives without that child. I can’t even begin to imagine. There IS too much hate in the world already. I honestly do feel for the parents, I can’t even begin to imagine what they’re going through. xx

    • Marion
      June 17, 2016 / 4:52 pm

      Well said

  4. Marion
    June 17, 2016 / 4:51 pm

    Well said, my heart goes out to the Parents. They will blame themselves for the rest of their days.

  5. June 17, 2016 / 6:08 pm

    I was so upset when I heard about this, the poor little boy was almost the same age as my little two which makes it worse I think. I can’t even imagine what his poor parents are going through , having to watch that and being helpless to stop it. Xx
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  6. June 18, 2016 / 9:02 am

    I’m
    Still reeling from
    It

  7. June 19, 2016 / 2:34 pm

    I can see both sides but blaming the parents & calling them all the names under the sun isn’t going to help anyone. For the father to try & rescue him from the alligator tells me that they were near enough to their child, he wasn’t just left to play by himself. We don’t know all the facts, only what the media has projected. Anything can happen in a split second and this family has lost a child
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