Just as Prime Minister David Cameron was promising to “restore a sense of morality and responsibility” following the recent riots in England, Adrienne Ives made a courageous phone call that proved that good parents – the tough love type – still exist across the pond.
Mrs. Ives and her husband were watching news reports of the violence when an image of their 16 year-old daughter, Chelsea, hurling a brick at a police car, flashed before them. Adrienne Ives immediately picked up the phone and turned her in to the authorities. “I have no regrets,” said the British mom, “I love my daughter but she was brought up to know right from wrong.”
Chelsea has a lot to lose. In addition to being an athlete she is a youth “ambassador” for the 2012 Olympics.
We live in an age of epidemic parental enabling and excuse making. Badly behaved children are labeled “A.D.D.” and promptly medicated. Busy parents prefer to “bond” with their neglected children by teaming up with them against the offending teacher or coach rather than do the hard work of teaching consequences and personal responsibility. Who wants to be the heavy when it’s so much easier to be your kids’ BFF?
In the case of England’s riots, the wanton theft of designer sneakers and plasma TVs are blamed on everything from racism, capitalism, and government cutbacks that haven’t even taken effect. Nonetheless, the violent riots have peeled back the curtain and forced Brits to come to grips with the state of parenting and families in England. Family breakdown is the worst in Europe. Of UK families receiving government housing, three quarters are fatherless. Few would argue that in liberal, Godless, multi-cultural England, parenting isn’t permissive or that the popular culture isn’t depressingly tawdry.
Yet in the midst of this decay, Adrienne Ives stands as a beacon of hope: a mom willing to fight to save her daughter from a declining, morally bankrupt culture. Sadly, too few of the young rioters will get the second chance Chelsea’s parents have lovingly given her. As Prime Minister Cameron put it, “In too many cases, the parents of these children – if they are still around – don’t care where their children are or who they are with, let alone what they are doing,”
Not Chelsea. Because her parents refuse to make excuses for her behavior, she will be forced to take responsibility for her actions (in addition to jail time, her position as teen Ambassador presumably hangs in the balance) and, hopefully, straighten out her life.
We can only hope that Adrienne Ives’ example will remind parents all over the world that there is no substitute for good parenting. Entire nations depend on it.