General Question

KNOWITALL's avatar

Why are some parents so selfish?

Asked by KNOWITALL (20696points) 6 days ago

I got a text yesterday that a ‘friend’ needed help with school supplies and clothes-TWO DAYS before school starts.
Fine, I love the kid, so we took care of it, haircut, the works.
A friend is helping with his school supplies today.

He tells me she missed the orientation for the class, so he has no idea of his schedule.

He can’t play football this year because she wouldn’t send him to camp this summer.

He’s been listening to her and her live in fight non-stop for three weeks.

And….she’s going to jail for a couple weeks and he will live with another neighbor until she’s out.

He’s 13 years old, 315lbs and way too heavy, and he knows it. He’s mixed race in a mostly-white community. Literally so big, that the only shoes I could find to fit him were Nike slides.

After spending the afternoon with the kid, I just felt so angry at the mother for being so incredibly selfish, and her kid is paying the price-in so many ways.

Yes, I know I’m not a parent and I shouldn’t judge, but this woman has been arrested so many times, been through so many men, and these kids (she has one other child) just continually are left wanting.

What would you do or say, or just keep helping year after year and letting the kid know you’ve got his back?

My husband is checking with the school counselor today on whether he can still go out for football, or if camp is a requirement.

PS You know I went thru some of this stuff with an alcoholic mom, but never to this degree. I think I’m projecting some anger on to the mother, due to the kids pain.

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17 Answers

jca2's avatar

I was having a similar conversation when I worked in Children’s Services, and my supervisor (at the time) said “Sometimes people have children for all kinds of reasons.” The first example she gave was money. Sometimes, too, it’s to try to keep a guy. I’m not sure why this woman had a child if she can’t take care of him. It’s sad.

Hopefully the doctor is urging him to lose weight, in a kind, gentle way, for his health.

Football would be great. It seems like a requirement for football is that they had to go to camp? That makes no sense but who knows.

I feel bad for the kid.

stanleybmanly's avatar

As you realize, there’s no point in taking your anger out on the woman. The odds are her own childhood was no picnic for her to turn out so useless. Speaking of which, you can just imagine what sort of parenting skills this kid will have available when his turn comes. Dysfunctional people in a system guaranteed to manufacture and perpetuate dysfunction.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@jca2 It wouldn’t be so bad if she wasn’t constantly posing for selfies and scoping for her next sugar daddy. She’s nasty but if you didn’t know her, decent looking I suppose. She thinks she is really cool. (eye roll)

I have heard her screaming the N-word in front of her two boys (fighting with the youngest child’s father), one of which is mixed race. I just can barely tolerate her long enough to help the kids.

@stanleybmanly I could give a rats if I ever heard her name again tbh, but those kids, especially this one, just broke my heart yesterday. If I thought she’d sign over rights, I’d raise that kid as my own, but she never would. She loves the attention. It just makes me sick to my stomach, and I was taking him Axe body spray several years ago during her ‘cat hoarding’ days. The kids just can’t catch a break. Grrrr….

cookieman's avatar

The ability to give birth is no guarantee of parenting skills or even empathy. Some people just suck and many of them are parents sadly.

You did a good thing and I’m sure will do more because you’re a good person. Same with the other folks that helped him out. To @stanleybmanly’s point, maybe talk to the kid (as years pass) about better ways to go about life. Energy better spent there than raging on the mother.

Although, I can understand wanting to smack her upside the head.

JLeslie's avatar

Can be a mix of reasons.

- Mental illness
– They think it’s normal – they grew up that way.
– poverty
– drug addiction
– doesn’t want to be a parent

KNOWITALL's avatar

@cookieman I cant be around the kid or she sucks you in to her world of ‘I need…’ We’ve drove the boys to school. I literally took first day of school pics one year, she had stayed up drinking.

But she’s not bad sober. Wish we could mandate someone take a sober pill, for the kiddos.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Overall, I believe we as both a society as well as individuals give far too little consideration to just how vulnerable we are to the everyday exigencies that mold our personalities. From genetics through environment the random chance events that bend us away from “the norm” are staggering. I almost live in a state of paranoia from looking around and concluding “it might have (or could yet) happened to me.”

Inspired_2write's avatar

Maybe what one sees as selfish is her only way to survive?
But forget her and concentrate on the two children, call a Child welfare group to check on them and there home life.
Where is the actual father…? Or is the father worse?
You are a lifeboat for that child and he will appreciate that little bit of civil life.
Social Services ( in Canada) protects the children from unsafe, abusive,parents etc
This kids is reaching out for help.
Thank you for helping him and others that are in the same position.
Perhaps the school can form a group for those kids that live under abusive conditions?
At least that way they are heard and perhaps assisted better on a daily basis.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Inspired_2write Nah, I’d like to think that, but she’s had a nice home with an in ground pool and everything she could want and still wasn’t happy, the two kids were healthy and happy there. She was bringing men in when her baby daddy went to work at the post office. She just does what she wants to do with little though of repercussions.

The bio-father for the mixed race child is in jail down south somewhere is all I’ve heard.

Here in Missouri, it’s very hard to get any agency involved unless you can prove the parent unfit. Not cockroaches in the home all over, not trash piled in the yard-it’s difficult. And the kids love her and have a home with heat, food, etc… I’d say it’s probably more emotionally abusive than anything else at this point.

We started to talk to coach about getting the kid into football, but my husband reminded me that if she won’t make them go to school, then she sure wouldn’t make football practice and games. If we didn’t have to interact with her much, we could take him back and forth but we have previous evening commitments and husband works nights. Not an easy problem to solve, which is why I get upset about it.

The school does have counselors and things, but I’m sure this child would never say a word. He’s a big, shy, soft-spoken guy.

Inspired_2write's avatar

@KNOWITALL
I feel for those children that have an irresponsible and immature mother as a role model!
Are there other related family? What would happen if the mother had an accident and died?
Who then would take care of these children..the State?
Curious..“if” the neighbors and others DID NOT step up to help, what would had happened?
I wonder if this is the game that she plays to get out of responsibility?? Are you been played??
Get professional help for those kids.

If this takes place in the U.S. get a hold of “DR. Phil” show as he assisted a several families in similar circumstances successfully. He would make sure that those children will be protected and looked after well and for ‘darn’ sure he would straighten out that women.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Inspired_2write Oh I wouldn’t put anyone on a talk show, especially kids. Far too much oversharing in public…lol

Sometimes I think we’re being played, other times I don’t care because the kids are so obviously suffering.
I wouldn’t spit on her if she were on fire, but those kids deserve all we’ve got to spare.

Inspired_2write's avatar

@KNOWITALL
They don’t put the kids on TV but the irresponsible parent.
AND they really do help the kids! And keep tabs on them too for there safety.
The network pays for there assistance.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Inspired_2write I think those shows are mostly for drama and ratings, leeching off of others painful situations. Thank you for the suggestion though.

seawulf575's avatar

I share your frustration. When I first married my current wife, we had a girlfriend of my step-daughter that was always at our house. She spent the night probably 4 times a week. There were times her mom would go away for a weekend with the guy of the moment and not do a thing to take care of her kids (she had two girls). One girl was the one that was at our house all the time…she was the older. She was 12. The younger was a couple years younger. Both were just left to fend for themselves. I was also annoyed with the girl because she just left her younger sister alone.
But one thing we were very proud of (as parents) was that we were always there for the kids. We treated all the kids’ friends as our own children…giving love and shelter when they needed it and giving a kick in the pants when they needed that. And to this day we still have a couple of those kids that still keep in touch with us. They will even call just to talk to us and a couple have told us we made a huge difference in their lives.
We did NOT slam their parents to them, though. I think they knew what we thought, but we didn’t vent to them.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@seawulf Did you have to interact with the parent to help or how’d that work? I am not good at tolerating her brand of crazy tbh.

seawulf575's avatar

When we interacted with the mom (she was a divorced mother), my wife dropped some heavy hints, but didn’t come out and tell her she was a horrible mother. She told her that the girl had been at our house (“Oh, I figured she’d go over there”), that we didn’t know she would be out of town (“This guy asked me to go away for the weekend and he is Sooooo nice!”), that we had no idea what the sister did (“She probably stayed with friends too”), and that it was a good thing we were around (“I left them food and drinks and some money”). I think the answers were pissing me off more than the action itself. What the answers told me was that she was a clueless bimbo who didn’t really care. So we were just there for the girl and her sister if they wanted us. We don’t have much interaction these days with them since we now live 4 states away and, of course, since the girls are grown. But the one did invite us to her wedding and we went. Unfortunately, the mother had to be there as well. She is now re-married to some rich guy and she acts like a queen. I avoided her as much as possible.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@seawulf Yikes. Glad they had access to you. In the country its not that easy.

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