Mindy Memories

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

OK, one more rant and I'm done, lol

There's a story about a babysitter who fell asleep and the kids got outside and drowned. Now, when I first heard this story I thought that parents also nap while kids are supposed to be sleeping and parents and sitter should be treated the same. The lastest in this story has come out

Police: Sitter Spent Night Drinking Before Erie-Area Toddlers Drowned

OK, she's under the legal drinking age and should not have been "rocked." She behaved irresponsibly in many ways. However, my question still remains -- if a parent came home drunk, then fell alseep while the kids were supposed to be sleeping but they got out and drowned, would the parent be charged with involuntary manslaughter? I think in some jurisdictions they would and in others they wouldn't, but I find that very often caregivers/babysitters are expected to take better care of kids than the parents.

(Disclaimer -- My friends are parents and they are responsible. These are not the parents I talk about. I think we all know what I'm talking about and this is not a bash on parents in general. Thank you.)



  • At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm posting this anonymously because of what I have to say, but I am a regular reader (and occasional commenter) of yours.

    Hubby and I were charged with child neglect when he was found to be asleep on the couch with our toddler playing in the living room. He worked nights, I worked days. We were lucky that the kid didn't get into something truly dangerous and that we got a compassionate judge who actually listened to our situation. He did tell us, though, that if something *had* happened to the squirt, we were opening ourselves up to much larger and more serious charges, up to murder if she were to die from not being properly tended - anything from her choking on something she put in her mouth to tipping over a lit candle to finding her way into enough water to drown to god only knows what else could happen.

    So yes, if it had been the parents and not the babysitter/stepsister, given the rest of the facts released in that story, the parents would have been charged, at least here in my major metro area. The kid's in for some seriously deep *bleep* between the underaged drinking and the death of her little sister and the other child. The parents could also be in for some major issues as well.

  • At 7:27 PM, Blogger Mindy said…

    Thanks for sharing, and I understand why you are anonymous.

    Personally, I don't know if a person SHOULD be charged with neglect in these instances. I think whomever is in charge should be treated the same, parent or babysitter, but I don't know if that means they should all be charged with neglect.

    There were times when I was a kid (one of three) that my mom would fall alseep while we were awake and I never (and still don't) think of it as neglect. People get tired.

    I'm glad your child didn't get hurt, and I hope I didn't sound like I had no compassion for the parents of the kids that drowned, as that's not the case. I get frustrated when babysitters, family members and friends are held to a higher standard than parents when it comes to these things. Probably because I've babysat many times in my life.

  • At 9:19 PM, Blogger claudia said…

    Such a sad situation! I agree though. People get tired, sometimes they are tired because a child was sick the night before and the parent was up all night with the child. Right this very minute I am so happy that my kids are all grown up and don't need me to be awake almost 24/7...I fall asleep in the afternoon while sitting at the computer I am so tired sometimes! I think each individual case should be looked at very closely and then determine if it's neglect or overworked.


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