Friday, April 24, 2009

In Support of Madlyn Primoff

If I could get away with shouting this, I would. I'll lay off the caps though. The Mother posted a great article 'In Support of Madlyn Primoff' yesterday. I asked her if I could link to it and post with the same title. It would be absolutely awesome if blog posts with this title started showing up everywhere.

If you are thinking - who the heck is this Primoff lady? What are you talking about? Here are some examples of the LAME-ASS headlines from the last couple of days:

Mother Dumps Kids by Roadside.... ABC7.com
Bickering kids land mother in jail... TVNZ
Mom kicks bickering daughters out of car, drives away... Dayton Daily News
Madlyn Primoff kicks her children out of car, drives off... The Star-Ledger - NJ.com
Madlyn Primoff Incident: When Parents Reach the End of Their Ropes... Wall Street Journal Blogs
Prominent lawyer busted for leaving kids... ABC7.com

Good gawd people! Really?

The Mother points out that we do not, I repeat, DO NOT, have all the details. The MEDIA has fed us whatever little nugget they think they have, blow up to whatever proportion they think will sell their papers/blogs/newscasts. Seriously, look at it as you should look at everything...what are they trying to sell me? This woman is being vilified all over the place with little to no facts released and more importantly NO STATEMENT FROM HER. Which probably won't happen because now she's a fucking criminal. ARGH.

Here is an excerpt from an article about the reaction to Ms. Primoff from Free Range Kids:
"...Naturally, I do not think that this mom handled her kids in a truly optimal way. But most of us have days when we don’t. That doesn’t make us criminal parents. It makes us human parents. And kids are built to live with humans, not Robo-Mama."

And most importantly, what I hope is addressed here is the culture of fear we are creating by listening and reacting to the media in a way that makes it near to impossible to get back to working as a community to be parents and raise independent and healthy children who know discipline and reap the benefits of parents who use it wisely.

10 comments:

The Mother said...

I think Lenore Skenazy over at Free Range Kids makes this clear on a regular basis:

The media NEVER report when a kid gets home safely, or a mother disciplines her kid and nothing bad happens, or when a child ISN'T picked up by a pervert.

The media's job, nowadays, isn't to feed us facts (that's patently obvious when you read the newspaper. When was the last time when the 5 W's were all in the first paragraph, and not buried on page 25?), but to ENTERTAIN. And nasty stories about bad mommies are MUCH more fun than stories about bratty kids who got punished.

We need to stand up and say NO.

We need posts with this headline all across cyberspace.

Thanks, Amy, for continuing the cycle and helping to fight the good fight.

Katey said...

I saw this on The Mother page yesterday and did respond because I also loved the wisdom in her piece.

As a mother of 4 kids I have come to have a sincere admiration for some of the old fashioned upbringing methods. Spankings. Mouth Washings. Whereas I began parenting in the "I would never" mindframe, I was cured of this nonsense when our first turned 4 and decided she would have screaming tantrums in public and began spitting on us in anger whenever she did not have her way. Ok. We did this for a few rounds and sampled time-outs and "please use your kind words" and then reached a normal level of "Fuck this!" and began using some good old fashioned punishments. Sure enough she stopped her tantrums and screaming and rude behavior because she knew darn well we were gonna haul her butt to the car and spank her. This is also the child I made walk home alone from junior high once because I was tired of always being trapped in the van with screaming children as she talked with her friends for 20 - 30 minutes. Nope. No Thanks. Took her one walk home alone and you can be assured she never EVER made me endure kids in the van again.

So of course the news on this mom touches me. As a woman. As a parent. And I am once again disappointed in how the news and media paints people and even worse how other people drink from the tainted water cooler time and time again. For we do not have the complete facts. For we are indeed unaware how many times this mom could have warned her kids to stop and the kids could have ignored her. We are missing much of what happened and what was said and in what tone and whether the kids were even near their home or near someone elses home. But of course this minor detail is never gonna matter to some people and her story is going to grace the magazines and people are going to believe what they read.

Kinda reminds me of when my grandmother would read the Star magazine and then check the "facts" in The Enquirer and then proceed to argue the topic because her information "must" be true.

Drama Queen Jenner said...

There's a good reason not to read/watch the news and this story is a prime example. People judging people (with or without all the facts) bothers me.

Mamawheelie said...

I'm split on this story.

On the one hand I totally understand how the media likes to play up the bad in a story to make it sell-worthy, and I get that we don't necessarily have all the facts.

But on the other hand, never would I make a threat like that. I'm way too over-protective of my kids to let them out of my sight like that, and I can't imagine threatening to make the kids get out of the car. And as I've indicated in the comments before, duct tape has looked pretty darn good on many an occasion. (I.e. We've had some days with some really poor behavior in our household.)

Now, I think if she'd booted them out of the car, pulled forward a ways and waited, where she could still see them, letting them walk back to the car... that I could see. But the idea that, for whatever reason, she let the younger girl walk off and later had to call to report her missing? Yeah... I'm not so keen on that.

The fact remains that this isn't the old days, and while some punishments might be okay, others are not. While there were still perverts and criminals out there back in "the day", there was also a level of safety. Nowadays? Not so much.

(Removed the previous one because there was a typo and I'm something of a grammar Nazi.)

Jeanie said...

Your post along with The Mother and Free-Range Kids inspired me to tell the story on my blog about the day I kicked my 4 year old out of the car due to whinning and made him follow the car home. We lived on long dirt road on an island. I felt no guilt and from that day all I had to say is “do you want to walk home?”

Krispin said...

Thanks for your post. I will be adding a "In support of Madlyn Primoff" post on my blog today.

It is asinine what parents have to tolerate when trying to parent in a old school way. 3 miles might be a bit much but hey they have two feet and a heart beat don't they?

AmyAnne said...

I am so reassured to hear your responses to this. It isn't about weather or not we are always making the 'right' decisions parenting, for no one can realistically do that. What this is all about is NOT letting this culture of fear turn a parent's personal choices of discipline into criminal action. We can have discussions about what we do in our not so finer moments, learn from each other, support each other and I can even tolerate judgment, for that seems to be the human way. However, I will never be able to tolerate turning a caring parent into a criminal because of a disagreement in discipline paradigms.

Stesha said...

Exactly why I don't rush to judgement anymore. You never know.

Hugs and Mocha,
Stesha

the Mayor said...

The media is getting so far from the 5 W's and all about sensationalizing and opinionated reporting. Maybe that's why so many of the print media is going out of business.
I've been parenting for 28 years now (6 children) and sometimes the "shock and awe" method is what makes an impression. I'm proud to be an occasional crazy mom. I've also made some mistakes, but I sure as hell don't want to be second guessed by my government.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

This entire incident completely threw me. Me, the negligent one who told the school secretary on the phone, "Yes. Yes. Yes, that's correct. You did hear me say to let him ride his bike home from school without a helmet." (an afternoon rain had left the helmet soaking wet)

Even 20, err, 30, err . . . well, anyway, even many years ago the specter of CPS still loomed large. My mom's fearless approach toward the government totally worked for me: "Honey, here's the number to CPS. Foster homes can be a lot of fun. So feel free. Dial away."