Mom of the Year

Adrienne Ives refused to ignore her daughter's lawlessness.

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.



  • Christen

    If Rachel Campos Duffy thinks that calling the police on your child is a good form of parenting, I think we should all call the police on her. An otherwise stellar student gets caught up in the commotion and/or is acting out aggressively is a child crying for help and understanding. Don’t turn your back on them and cause more harm by calling the police on them. That’s trashy.

    • Jacqueline

      Have you considered that this girl is probably an “otherwise stellar student” *because* her parents don’t make excuses like she got “caught up in the commotion” and is “crying for help and understanding”- This girl new better and will likely now avoid getting caught up in worse crimes because she knows that the rules apply to her. I am not the least but sorry for her reaping the consequences of her actions. She broke the law. Her parents were wise enough to let her reap the consequences.

    • Joe

      Throwing a brick at a cop car = getting caught up in the commotion. Got news for you: you are trashy. Really, get a clue. Calling the cops on someone is not turning your back on them. It is telling them no one is above the law, not even a stellar student. “Crying out for help…” Are you serious. No wonder society is so screwed up.

  • Julaine

    Great piece, Rachel–spoken with the heart of a parent who knows there really is such a thing as “tough love.” Thanks for speaking up so clearly on pro-family issues–because that’s really what this is. Fatherlessness is catching up with us–in dramatic ways.

  • Holly

    My parents wouldn’t have hestiated to turn me in to the police. In fact, they’d probably drive me to the station themselves and make me give a full confession. Though, if I did something like looting and arson, I’d probably rather deal with the police. Don’t get me wrong, my parents were not violent or in any way abusive, but they would have made my life very unpleasant for a very long time, and they would have been right.

    We aren’t talking about some underage drinking or teenage hijinks here, we’re talking about some very violent and destructive behavior.

    • Joyful

      My parents would have driven me down to the police station as well and made me confess and take responsibility. That’s entirely different from what these parents did which was to call the cops out of anger and without bothering to have a conversation with their child beforehand and give her the opportunity to make this right. I hope everyone sees the difference. I agree with previous commenters. This wasn’t an act of bravery or good parenting. It’s the type of poor parenting you see on a bad episode of Maury Povich.

  • David Weiss

    While I agree that parental negligence is epidemic, I take umbrage with the shot taken at ADD children. My son (now 20 years old) has suffered from this neurological disorder all his life and I have been blessed to be part of that life. I wish journalists would understand fully something like this before using it as a derogatory statement.

    • Matthew S

      “Badly behaved children are labeled “A.D.D.” and promptly medicated.” She does not say there are not people with ADD, who deserve our compassion and respect, she simply suggests that the broken system lets bad kids get away from the consequences of their actions by hiding behind a label they do not deserve.

      Sir, I do not have ADD, but I am a diagnosed autistic with a whole host of other problems, so I can understand being sensitive about how disorders are discussed… but we are called to be charitable and try to understand other people’s words as we would want our words to be read.

      It seems to me that there is another, more charitable way to read that line than the one you chose.

  • David j

    I can’t ever imagine calling the police on my child. I certainly don’t think it’s an action worry of praise, much less “Mom of the Year”

  • Casey

    What a horrid thing to do to your child.



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